By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel,Abuja
The House of Representatives has adopted the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) as proposed by the Executive.
This is as it passed for second reading, the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
Leadership recalls that the House last week, referred the document to it’s committees on Finance, Appropriations, Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Legislative Budget and Research and National Planning and Economic Development on the 2018-2020 MTEF and FSP to make input.
Speaking on the report of joint committees just before its consideration and consequent adoption, chairman of committee on Finance, Hon. Ibrahim Babangida said the Committees took cognizance of the economic realities on ground in relation to global events in arriving at the recommendations.
In considering the report, the House resolved to adopt tue benchmark for crude oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day be retained as proposed by the Executive for the 2018 Budget.
It also adopted $47 per barrel as the benchmark for the fiscal year 2018 as recommended. This, according to the joint committees, is in consideration of the current positive outlook in the global oil market and expectation that OPEC and other allied oil partnership countries will sustain oil production “cuts deep” into 2018.
Also, the ₦305/USD proposed by the executive for the 2018 Budget was retained as Babagida explained that, “It is also advised that CBN should adopt measures to close the gap between the parallel market and the official exchange rate”.
The lawmakers further adopted the projected ₦5..279 trillion for non-oil revenue in 2018, urging that “revenue generating agencies intensify efforts on collections and measures that would reduce revenue loss. Specifically, Pioneer status and Tax incentives must be beneficial to the economy”.
While the proposed ₦1.699 trillion new borrowing for 2018 was adopted, The joint committees insisted that “borrowing must be project-tied. In borrowing more, government must remain focused and ensure it is used to fund critical projects that will increase productivity and contribute to financing such debt,” Babangida said.
The House also adopted the recommendation that a 3.5 percent growth rate be retained, especially with the latest figures indicating a doubling of growth rate to 1.4 percent in third quarter, 2017.
The House also adopted the$350m borrowing plan for the Kaduna bye pass after being presented by Chairman, Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Ajayi Adeyinka.
The committee further recommended that the National Assembly be directed to amend the relevant Sections of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and other extant laws.