The Senate yesterday confirmed an upward review of the crude oil benchmark from $70 to $75 per litre for the purpose of the 2012 budget as requested by President Goodluck Jonathan
The confirmation came against the backdrop of senate’s approval of the 2012 to 2015 Medium Term Fiscal framework(MTFF) submitted to the National Assembly by the President.
The approval was sequel to the consideration and adoption of the report of the Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriation, National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation on MTFF.
In doing that however, the senators specifically insisted that with “the partial deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, all savings and accruals must be captured in safety net for targeted expenditures and approved by the National Assembly.”
Nonetheless, they demanded that government should ensure a holistic alignment of the 2012 to 2015 MTFF and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) with the requirements of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
In the same vein, the lawmakers pegged the daily crude oil production figures of 2.48mbpa, 2.55mbpd, 2.58mbpd and 2.60mbp for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.
It said: “The 2012 to 2015 non-oil revenue growth rate estimate of 5 per cent,16 per cent and 17 per cent should be adopted while the federal government should at the same time articulate its plan for plugging revenue leakages, improve the efficiency of revenue collections, encourage the flow of goods and services through the country’s ports and stop granting duty waivers.”
The lawmakers pegged the exchange rate at N155 to one dollar while asking Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to submit their expenditure pattern with clearly defined performance action plan, concrete milestone and measurable performance indicators to the National Assembly.
The federal government, it said, should restrict the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to specialised areas, while not abandoning its social responsibility in the process.
It wants the federal ministry of finance to provide comprehensive information to the National Assembly on the 2012 appropriation proposal with regards to the volume of capital projects to be funded through PPP.
It asked the federal government to freeze increase in allocation to its overhead expenditure throughout the period of the MTFF.
It said that the civil service should be restructured to enhance productivity, while the fiscal deficit ratios of 2.7 per cent, 2 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, be adopted.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Bassey Out, who presented the report said that the adopted recommendations emerged out of exhaustive deliberations on the MTFF and FSP with due consideration to the provision of the 1999 Constitution (As amended) and the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.