FG Reviews Parameters In MTEF

Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEFThe Federal Government has reviewed the parameters in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, made this known at an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Finance.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, Senator Udoma noted that the Federal Government set the benchmark price of crude at $42.5 per barrel.

He adds that the new deficit to GDP ratio is now at 2.18 while the official exchange rate is now 305 up from 290 to a dollar earlier set.

Economic growth rate has also been reduced from 3.02% to 2.5%.

Meanwhile, the Senate is to probe the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the failure of one of its subsidiaries, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to remit over five billion dollars to the Federation Account.

Senator Dino Melaye, in a motion, alleged that since 2013 to date, the NPDC has continued to lift crude oil from divested oil wells OML 61, 62 and 63 worth over $3.487 billion without remitting to the Federation Account.

The Senate has mandated its committees of petroleum upstream and finance to investigate the level of the alleged corruption with a view to recovering every fund due to the Federation Account.

Senate Passes 2015 MTEF, Approves $52 Oil Price Benchmark

Ministerial NomineesThe Senate has passed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Policy Paper (FSP).

The Senate at plenary on Wednesday set the benchmark price of crude at $52 dollars per barrel, against the benchmark price of $65 dollars per barrel set by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

The Senate also set an exchange rate of one hundred and ninety naira to one dollar against one hundred and sixty five naira to the dollar set by the Ministry of Finance.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Ahmed Markarfi, said the benchmark price of crude was reviewed lower because of the falling price in the international market.

The Senate also approved the reduction of recurrent expenditure from N2.6 trillion to N2.4 trillion and increased capital expenditure from N633 billion to N700 billion.

Bureaux The Change Operators Appeal To Senate Over Raised Capital Base

7The Association of Bureau De Change Operators in Nigeria has sought the intervention of the Senate Committee on Finance over the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise the capital base of operators from ten million to 35 million Naira.

At a meeting with members of the committee on Tuesday, the Acting President of the association, Mr Aminu Gwadabe, said that the policy would worsen the prevailing unemployment if eventually implemented.

The Acting President said the reasons cited by the CBN for the new policy were not tenable.

According to him, the argument that bureau the change operators’ aid the depletion of the foreign reserve does not hold water as the percentage of dollars sent to operators had been declining since 2012.

The House of Representatives had last week summoned the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over the new capital base, expressing worries that the new policy would send most of the operators out of business and asked the apex bank to suspend the new policy which members tagged elitist.

The CBN  reviewed its guidelines on 26 June, which includes an increase in minimum capital requirement for operation from the current 10 million Naira with effect from 15 July.

The apex bank’s reasons for the review was to correct observed deficiencies in the operation of the Bureau De Change in Nigeria which they say had led to sharp practices in the foreign exchange market. The apex bank also said it would help check the depletion of external reserves, financing of unauthorised transactions and ‘dollarization’ among others.