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House of Representatives scraps service-wide vote, approves $54pb crude benchmark



AHEAD of the passage of the 2015 Appropriation Act, the House of Representatives Thursday endorsed the scrapping of the N360.94 billion service-wide vote.

   This followed the adoption of the report of the joint House Committees on Finance, Appropriation, Aids, Loans and Debt Management and Legislative Budget and Research on the 2015 -2017 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

   The lawmakers, who considered the report presented by the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Dr Abdulmumini Jibrin, directed that all expected line expenditures under the service-wide vote being administered by the Presidency in conjunction with the Finance Minister and the Budget Office be channeled to relevant ministries for effective utilisation. 

   They also approved $54 per barrel as crude oil benchmark, as against the $65 per barrel earlier proposed by the Executive in the budget proposal for year 2015.

Also approved was exchange rate of N198 to $1 for the same budget.

   Similarly, the total expenditure approved for Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) is N21.03 billion, reduced from N102.50 billion, due to the fall in the price of crude oil, while maintaining that the details of the SURE-P projects to be executed should be attached to the annual budget estimates for approval by the National Assembly.

   Additionally, “government should strengthen and consolidate its fiscal strategy to narrow the gap between projected and actual revenue for the period 2015-2017, curtail oil theft and diversify the economy to increase tax bases,

• Non-oil revenue projection for 2015 budget be increased from N3.539,07 trillion to N4.024,11, while the total recurrent (non-debt) expenditure be reduced from N2.616,01 trillion to N2.584,08 trillion, and total capital expenditure be increased from N633.53 billion to N700.78 billion.

   They equally okayed that total statutory transfers be reduced from N411.85 billion to N368.27 billion and statutory allocation to the National Judicial Council be increased from N73 billion to N78 billion.

   The MTEF and FSP must be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and approval prior to the presentation of the national budget, as mandated by section 11 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, the chamber insisted.

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