By Ignatius Okorocha
The Senate on Wednesday passed the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for the fiscal years.
This followed the adoption of the report of its joint committees on National Planning and Finance, on the 2021-2023 MTEF and FSP documents submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for consideration on July 21.
Chairman of the joint Committee Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos) while presenting the recommendations of the reports said there was need for the National Assembly to ensure effective collaboration with the executive to ensure effective implementation of the MTEF and FSP.
Following the presentations and contributions by some senators on need to cut cost of governance, reduce borrowing, reduced waste and shore up government revenue, Senate approved the 20 points recommendations of the committee.
The Committee recommended that Federal Government retained revenue of N7.89 trillion of the total proposed expenditure of N13.08 trillion in the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP.
It also approved that fiscal deficit of N5.19 trillion, borrowings of N4.28 trillion (including foreign and domestic borrowings.
Others are statutory transfers, totaling, N484.4 billion, debt service estimate of N3.12 trillion, while sinking fund to the tune of N220 billion was also approved.
It also approved pension, gratuities and retirees benefits of N520.6 billion and Federal Government aggregate expenditure of N13.08 trillion.
The expenditure is made up of total recurrent (non-debt) of N5.66 trillion; Personnel Costs of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of N3.05 trillion, capital expenditure (exclusive of Transfers) N3.58 trillion, Special Intervention (recurrent) amounting to N350 billion and special intervention (capital) of N20 billion.
Senate also approved daily crude oil production of 1.86mbpd, 2.09mbpd, and 2.38mbpd for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
This it said was to ensure greater budget realism and disruptions due to attacks, sabotage in the Niger-Delta which has substantially abated for a while.
Senate also approved that the benchmark oil price of 40 dollars per barrel be also approved because of the clear evidence of wide consultations with key stakeholders.
It also approved that the exchange rate of N379 dollars proposed by the executive for the 2021-2023 be approved.
This it said was based on the determination of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to pursue unification around its rate over the medium term, where investors and exporters transact dollars at market determined prices.
It also approved that the projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.00 per cent be approved, given the Federal Government’s response fiscal policies adapted to contain the damage of Covid-19, including the N500billion stimulus fund.
It also approved the projected Inflation rate of 11.95 per cent among other recommendations.
In his remark, President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that the Senate Committees via its oversight must ensure that revenue generating agencies meet their targets of revenue to the federation account.
“When it comes to revenue generation and remittances ,we need to work so hard to meet our expectations especially for funding of developments projects in the budget .
“Now that so many more agencies of government have been added there is need for our committee on finance to closely monitor the revenue meeting of targets for this agencies.
“We should explore other options of funding the budget and minimize borrowing, but we cannot eliminate borrowing totally”.