THE Senate on Tuesday passed the 2018-2020 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, and the Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP, increasing the oil price benchmark proposed by the Federal Government from 45 to 47 dollars per barrel.
The upper legislative chamber also passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill for second reading, approving an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar even as it approved 2.3 million barrels of oil production per day.
The Senate approved $47 per barrel oil benchmark, as it reduced non-oil projection to N5.279 trillion from N5.597 trillion. The lawmakers approved N305 to a dollar as proposed for 2018 budget. They also maintained 2.3 million barrels per day as proposed by the executive for the budget.
This happened after the red chamber considered a report by its joint committees on Finance, Appropriations and National planning and economic affairs.
A report presented by the Senator representing Kebbi North, Yahaya Abdullahi, reads, “The joint committee recommends the adoption of 1.699trillion for new borrowing for 2018.
“Relevant committees of the national assembly should constantly and closely oversights the MDAs on the implementation of these programs to ensure effective widespread of the efficient.
“The national assembly to amend the relevant sections of the fiscal responsibility act and other laws. The joint committee recommends the adoption of 3.5% growth rate.
“The joint committee recommends that the national assembly insert in the 2018 appropriation act, a clause which makes it mandatory for the executive to refer to the national assembly for any expenditure in excess of the benchmark (that is, price and production).”
The bill was subsequently referred to the Committee on Appropriations for further legislative action, as the Senate adjourned plenary to December 19 to allow the standing committees to hold budget defence sessions for federal ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.
While urging the senators to be steadfast in their activities on the budget, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki warned ministers and heads of MDAs against ignoring committee invitations.
“This is not the time for unnecessary travels,” Saraki told his colleagues.