The Senate has passed the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), even as it prepares to pass the N8. 83 trillion 2019 National Budget latest by Tuesday next week.
The MTEF/FSP, an annual, rolling three year-expenditure planning sets out the medium-term expenditure priorities and provides the basis for the preparation of the annual national budget.
Approval of MTEF/FSP document by the upper legislative chamber Tuesday , came five months after request to that effect was forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari had in making the request in November last year, provided the parameters upon which the N8.83trillion 2019 budget was based.
Adopting the report of its Finance Committee, the upper legislative chamber approved all the critical assumptions and projections proposed by the President in the MTEF/FSP.
In passing the document, the lawmakers approved 2.3 mbpd as daily crude oil Production; Oil price benchmark of USD$60 per barrel; exchange rate of N305/USD; GDP growth rate of 3.0%; inflation growth rate of 9.98%;
Others are total Federally Collectable revenue of N14.89 trillions; Net Oil and Gas Revenueafter Costs, Deductions & Derivations amounting to N7.60 trillion; Net Non –Oil Revenue after Costs, Deductions and derivation of N2.38trillion; and Federal Government retained revenue of N7. 92 trillion.
Other Executive proposals for 2019 adopted by the Senate include: proposed expenditure of N8.83 trillion, fiscal deficit N1.86 trillion, new borrowings N1.65 trillion, statutory transfers N492.4 billion, debt service N2.14 trillion, Sinking Fund N120 billion, total recurrent (non-debt) N4.72trillion, personnel costs (MDAs) N2.29 trillion, capital expenditure N2.86 trillion, Special Intervention N500 billion among others.
Although the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, John Enoh (APC Cross River Central ), admitted that crude oil production output stood at 2.0 million barrels as at December 2018, but said that the 2.3million daily target was achievable “due to the continuous efforts of all stakeholders in checkmating the issues of oil facilities vandalism and other vices associated with such regard”.
While recommending an exchange rate of N305/$1, the committee encouraged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) “to continue adopting strategies that will aid the strengthening of the naira and bridging the gap between the official and parallel market rate of the foreign exchange”.
Meanwhile, the Senate has given its Appropriations Committee till Thursday, for submission of the 2019 budget reports for possible passage on Tuesday next week.
Speaking after, the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Sunny Ogbuoji (APC, Ebonyi) disclosed on the floor that only 24 out of 61 sub-committees had submitted their reports.
But the Senate President, Bukola Saraki insisted that the budget report must be presented on Thursday, April 11 ahead of the April 16 approval of the money bill.
According to him, the Appropriations panel will be forced to use Executive submissions if the sub-committees fail to submit their reports to the Appropriations Committee by Wednesday this week .
“It is unfortunate that only 24 committees have submitted their reports. Last week, we all took a decision here that we are not going to waiver on our position.
“Our position is very clear that all committees should submit their budget reports and those that don’t submit, then the Appropriations Committee should use the Executive submission.
“That position is still where we are and I want to appeal to all our committees that you really have just till tomorrow (Wednesday) to make sure that your reports get to the Appropriations Committee because Thursday, you must lay this report.
“Vice Chairman of Appropriations Committee, if you don’t get report from our committees by tomorrow (Wednesday), then you just use the submission of the Executive. But come Thursday, you must lay that report,” Saraki said.