Politics

Senate approves 2020-2022 MTEF/FSP, raises FG’s expenditure estimates to N10.7 trn

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(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.

He also called for the diversification of the economy from a mono economy via agriculture, solid minerals and tourism(NAN).

KC/SH

(NAN)

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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