• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Reps adopt N4.4trn expenditure for 2015, $54 oil benchmark


The House of Representatives on Thursday adopted N4.4 trillion expenditure for 2015 fiscal year, warning against job cut. The House also adopted N198 to a dollar as official exchange rate, $54 oil benchmark against $65 proposed by the executive and 2.2782mbpd oil production for the year.
The Senate had penultimate week adopted N4.3 trillion budget expenditure for 2015, $52 per barrel and N199 to a dollar exchange rate. The resolution was passed after the adoption of the recommendations in the 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) report considered during the Committee of Whole.

According to the report presented by Abdulmumin Jubrin, chairman of the joint Committee on Finance, Appropriations, Aids, Loans & Debt Management and Legislative Budget and Research, the projected gross federally collectable revenue for 2015, 2016 and 2017 are N9.904.87 trillion, N10.284.75 trillion and N10.865.56 trillion, respectively. According to him, the increase in the MTEF projection for 2015 for non-oil revenue from N3.539.07 trillion, N3.787.30 trillion for 2016 and N4.018.04 trillion for 2017 should be sustained. They also adopted the recommendation that the total recurrent (non-debt) expenditure be reduced from N2.616.01 trillion to N2.584.08 trillion; total capital expenditure be increased from N633.53 billion to N700.78 billion; total statutory transfers be reduced from N411.85 billion to N368.27 billion; total non-oil revenue be increased from N3.539.07 trillion to N4.024.11 trillion while the total statutory allocation to the National Judicial Council be increased from N73 billion to N78 billion.

He, however, noted that these projections are subject to further upward review because of the falling oil prices.
The House also adopted the joint committees’ recommendation to scrap the N360.94 billion proposed as service wide vote, stressing that all expected line expenditures under this vote should be channelled to various line ministries for proper monitoring.The House also resolved “that a drastic reduction in cost of governance and improved revenue collection be undertaken with a view to attaining a healthy recurrent/capital expenditure ratio and that the relevant committees of the National Assembly should oversight the kerosene subsidy provision to ensure its full implementation, availability and accessibility. If this is difficult to attain, then we should do away with kerosene subsidy.”

The House resolved that the total expenditure for SURE-P be reduced from N102.50 billion to N21.03 billion due to fall in the price of crude; diversify the economy to increase tax bases; that the non-oil revenue projection for 2015 be increased from N3.539.07 trillion to N4.024.11 trillion.
They also resolved that the current government policy restricting government-owned enterprises expenditure to a maximum of 75 percent of their gross revenue and automatically converts 25 percent of such revenue to government revenue should be pursued vigorously, while punitive action be taken and possible prosecution of erring CEOs of these MDAs who do not comply with the instruction.In his presentation, Opeyemi Bamidele, chairman, House Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, who urged the House not to be ‘boxed to the corner nor blackmailed’ warned against job cut during the year, despite the dwindling oil revenue. He disclosed that the joint committees’ resolution on the oil benchmark was reached following consideration of $60 oil benchmark adopted by oil producing countries including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Venezuela.