(NAN)The Senate on Thursday, approved the 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper(FSP).
The approval, followed the adoption of a 16-point recommendations by the National Assembly Joint Committee Finance and National Planning which considered the MTEF and FSP documents.
Part of the recommendations approved by senate was to increase the Federal Government’s total expenditure estimates in the MTEF/FSP from N10.002 trillion to N10,729.4 trillion.
This amounts to an increase of additional N729 billion.
Nigeria News Agency(NAN)reports that the joint committee had conducted a public hearing on the MTEF and FSP on Oct 2.
The committee had engaged revenue generating agencies in the country on the contents of the MTEF and FSP forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration.
Following, debates by over 20 senators on the recommendations,
senate adopted the 57dollars per barrel as crude oil benchmark price for the fiscal year 2020.
It also approved the retaining of N305 to one dollar to ensure economic stability.
It also adopted 2.18mbpd as daily crude oil production output in 2020.
It noted that the 2.18mbpd approved would be realised, given concerted effort by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and security agencies to combat oil theft and vandalism.
It also recommended an increase in the revenue target of Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) from N942.6 billion to N1.5 trillion,given the performance of the NCS in the last nine months.
It further recommended that N557.4 billion from the revenue increment of NCS be used to reduce borrowing by N200 billion and increase capital expenditure.
This,it said would help decrease the size of the budget deficit from N1.7 trillion to N1.5trillion and also increase capital available to MDAs by N357 billion from N1.01trillion to N1.367 trillion.
It recommended the adoption of N1.5trillion as the amount for new borrowing,adding that the borrowing must be tied to critical projects to increase productivity.
It also recommended the earmarking of 1 per cent of the consolidated revenue to finance basic health care.
It recommended that proper investigation be carried out on the electronic collection of stamp duties domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)to ensue accountability and increase revenue base.
It also recommended proper investigation on NNPC to ascertain the actual cost associated with the joint venture oil agreements.
It recommended for a call for an urgent review of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and other laws of the revenue generating agencies to align with current realities.
It further urged the national assembly to expedite action on the passage of the finance bill which would be brought along with the budget.
This, it said the passage would make for easy implementation of the 2020 budget, most especially in the area of Value Added Tax(VAT).
Making his remark on the recommendations, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan thanked the committees for the speedy consideration of the MTEF and FSP.
He said the passing of the MTEF and FSP would usher in the presentation of the 2020 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Lawan said there was the need for the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to widen the tax net to generate more revenue for capital expenditure.
Lawan said there was the need for other revenue generating agencies to provide their revenue performances, noting that only that of the NCS was indicated in the recommendation.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
FG projects N11.86trn expenditure for 2021
The Federal Government has projected an aggregate expenditure of N11.86 trillion for 2021.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while virtually presenting 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper () held on Friday.
Ahmed said the aggregate projected revenue from available sources for 2021 would be N6.98 trillion while fiscal deficit was expected to be N5.16 trillion.
“The 2021-2023 MTEF&FSP is the pre budget statement that provides the framework for the development of the 2021 budget.
“It is being framed against the backdrop of challenging global macroeconomic environment as well as domestic factors.
“We aim to keep the deficit within the three per cent ceiling over the medium term and are therefore working on identifying new revenue sources and or cost of reduction,” she explained.
The minister noted that the 2021-2023 draft had been prepared against the backdrop of heightened global economic uncertainty.
According to her, the medium term outlook for the country, suggested that the fiscal risks are somewhat elevated, largely due to COVID-19 related disruptions.
She added that this development had exacerbated structural weakness in the economy.
On revised budget, Ahmed pledged government’s commitment to accelerate implementation to maintain the estimate process credibility, enhance Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and promote social inclusion.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
FG clarifies tax on house rents, C of O, others
The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, says tax on rents, Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and others is not a new law to the system.
Akabueze made the clarification while fielding questions from participants at a virtual presentation of 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF&FSP) in Abuja on Friday.
He said the law that permited payment of tax on rents and others was an existing one but had not been observed for a very long time.
“It is not new, it is just N50 to be paid and the law has always been there. I recall in early 80s when I started work, the receipt my landlord used to give me, he would paste a physical postage stamp on that receipt.
“Overtime, because the culture of postage has dropped off and that was not been implemented, what FIRS has done now is to make that into electronic stamp that you can still use to comply with the existing law,” he explained.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had last week announced that henceforth, there would be stamp duty paid on house rent and C of O in the service new adhesive duty.
FIRS urged Nigerians and other residents in the country to make sure that documents pertaining to rent or lease agreements for their homes or offices, C of O as well as a list of other common business-related transaction instruments were subject to authentication with the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp duty.
It stated that it was necessary in order to give these instruments the force of law and make them legally bidding on all parties involved in such transactions.
According to the service, the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty was inaugurated in Abuja at the official inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties recently.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
FG begins move for independence of audit institution
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, says process to have an independent audit institution in the country has commenced.
Ahmed disclosed this while fielding questions from participants at a virtual presentation of 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF&FSP) in Abuja on Friday.
She explained that the National Audit Bill that would be enacted into law for the independence of the Auditor General of the Federation was being considered.
She underscored the need for such office to be independent in order to gurantee transparency and accountability in governance system.
“By the time we have such act in place, office of the Auditor General of the Federation will become truly independent, it will be independent of the executive, and that is what they need in terms of strength to do their audit work.
“Right now, they are under Federal Government budget and once an audit is being funded directly by the executive, their independence is always called to question.
“With this plan, at the end of the day, it will have independent source of revenue and therefore become more effective and that will strengthen accountability within the system,” she explained.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)