2020 Budget Passes Second Reading In Senate

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja

The 2020 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly last week by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday scaled second reading on the floor of the Senate.

The upper chamber has subsequently adjourned plenary till 29th November 2019, to enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government defend their respective budget proposals before the Committees of the Senate.

In his concluding remark during the last day of debate on the 2020 budget estimates, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, identified revenue generation as a major challenge of the budget.

According to him, the successful implementation of the budget may be difficult to realise until proactive measures are taken to address the situation.

He said: “We are seriously challenged in the area of generating revenues, and it appears that until something drastic is done, this shortage of revenue will continue to militate against the implementation of the budget.

“We have to continuously engage the revenue-generating agencies and schedule quarterly evaluation to be handled by our relevant committee, particularly the Senate Committee on Finance.”

He added, “We need to look at how we can enhance the capital allocation. The shortage of funds will militate against that.

“We have a serious challenge when only thirty per cent is devoted to the capital budget, but that is an improvement from what we inherited from 2014 when the allocation was fifteen per cent. But that is not to say we cannot do better.

On recurrent expenditure, he said “We have so many agencies of government, over six hundred of them and we have to pay.

“Probably, we need to look at how we can streamline the agencies; that is not to say that we will lay off workers, but we must establish the functionality and usefulness of these agencies.

“We also need to look at the direction of Public-Private Partnership, especially in the laying of physical infrastructure. We can concession our roads, instead of taking money from China.

Lawan, while advocating for a knowledge-based economy, appealed to the Federal Government to create an environment that would create jobs for the youths.

Speaking on attracting investments, he said, “We cannot realistically attract even domestic investments in any sector without security; not to mention direct foreign investments into our country.

“The funds may not be enough, but when properly applied we can achieve positive results.

“Our soldiers and other personnel of security agencies who are exposed to dangers need to be properly remunerated.

“Their allowances must be given to them at the right time, because these are incentives that we owe them.”

The Senate President also warned some agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to submit their respective budgets to National Assembly or risk zero-budget allocation for the year 2020.

“The NDDC’s 2019 and 2020 budgets have not been brought here. The warning to NDDC is if they don’t bring the Commission’s 2020 budget proposal in time, there won’t be money to spend anymore, because government funds cannot be spent without appropriation.

“Appropriation is the responsibility of the National Assembly, and we are not going to allow our responsibility slip through our fingers.

“The same thing goes for the Nigerian Communications Commission, Federal Capital Territory Administration and any other agency that has not sent its budget. The budget that we undertake at this time will be holistic.”

Senate Passes Production Sharing Contract Act Amendment Bill

 

The Senate has passed the Production Sharing Contract Act 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019, in a bid to shore up Nigeria’s revenue earning, Deep Offshore and Inland Basin.

The bill was passed on Tuesday by the upper chamber after consideration of the report of the Joint committees on Petroleum (Upstream), Gas and Finance.

This comes after the Senate last week received a formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the amendment of the Act.

With the passage of the bill, it is estimated that Nigeria stands to benefit about N400 billion being revenue due to the federal government from International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country.

READ ALSO: Amendment Of Production Sharing Contract Bill Will Generate More Revenue, Says Lawan

The Senate, during the clause-by-clause consideration of the committee’s report, however, amended clause 17 of the Act, which recommended 10 years for a future review of the law.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, during consideration of the report, demanded an explanation from the Joint committee as to why the timeline for review of Production Sharing Contracts was amended from 5 years to 10 years.

In his response, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Albert Bassey Akpan, explained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and International Oil Companies bemoaned the five-year period which they said was insufficient to make certain final investment decisions.

“It takes about five years for an investor to take a Final Investment Decision oil investment (FID). So the NNPC and others are saying for you to review the law, you must give them a stable law; something they can project on”, Akpan said.

Some lawmakers including Senators Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central) and Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North), who were not swayed by Senator Akpan’s explanation, insisted on the retention of the existing five-year periodic timeline provided in the Act.

Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central), however prevailed on his colleagues and moved a motion for an amendment of clause 17 to specify eight years as the timeline for the review of the Production sharing Contracts.

The motion was seconded by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South) and thereafter adopted by the upper chamber when put to a voice vote by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate said the National Assembly made history with the passage of the Bill for an amendment of Production sharing Contracts Act.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment towards ensuring the amendment of the Act, he stressed that Nigeria stands to benefit N1.5 billion as a result of the amendment.

He said: “We have done what could not be done from 2003 to date. Today marks a milestone in the history of the Senate, and particularly the National Assembly.

“With the passage of this bill, Nigeria will gain at least $1.5 billion in 2020 as a result of this amendment. The Senate will do more.

“I must commend President Buhari, who mentioned the need to amend this bill in his speech when he presented the 2020 budget to the National Assembly last week, and of course, we also received an executive communication from him.”

Lawan emphasised the amendment of the Production Sharing Contract Act will create a level playing ground for the government and International Oil Companies doing business in Nigeria.

“For the IOCs doing business in Nigeria, the amendment will not in any way discourage investment. We expect that they will continue to do business in Nigeria”.

“When we legislate at the National Assembly, we will always be mindful of the need to have a competitive environment.

“When we work on the Petroleum Industry Bill, maybe in January, we will ensure that it is a win-win situation for Nigerians and those doing business in the oil and gas industry”, Lawan added.

Earlier, the Senate President read an executive communication from President Muhammadu Buhari requesting the amendment of the Production Sharing Contracts Act.

The letter dated 10th October, 2019, reads: “Pursuant to Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I hereby present the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passage into law by the Senate.

“This Bill seeks to reflect the current realities in the oil and gas sector, as well as to secure increased revenue for the Federal government to fund projected expenditure in the 2020 and subsequent budgets.

“While I trust that this bill will be expeditiously and favourably considered by the National Assembly, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Buhari Seeks Senate Approval To Refund Kogi Govt’s N10.06bn

President Buhari Signs NCDC Bill Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari (file)

 

The Senate on Tuesday received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for approval to pay Kogi State Government N10.069 billion being a refund of money spent by the state on behalf of the Federal government.

The request was contained in a letter dated 10th October 2019 and read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, during plenary.

The requested amount is for the settlement of inherited local debts and contractual obligations of the Federal Government to the State for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: “We Will Pay More Than N30,000″ – Sanwo-Olu

President Buhari recalled that 24 out of 25 State Governments had received the approval of the National Assembly for the settlement of claims on projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

He added that the sum of N10.069 billion is the outstanding amount due to Kogi State Government which is the only State yet to receive a refund.

The letter reads: “The Distinguished Senate President would recall that, based on my request for the Resolution of the National Assembly approving the establishment of a promissory note programme and a Bond Issuance to settle inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations of the Federal Government, the 8th National Assembly passed Resolutions approving the Issuance of Promissory Notes to refund State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

“The Resolutions of the 8th Assembly were conveyed through three different letters from the Clerk of the National Assembly as follows: Letter dated July 27, 2018, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.10/277 which approved the Issuance of Promissory notes to 21 states.

“Letter dated January 29, 2019, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/004 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Delta and Taraba States; and letter dated May 23, 2019, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/164 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Bauchi State.”

“The three Resolutions approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to 24 out of the 25 State Governments requested, and the only State for which approval has not been given is Kogi State, with an outstanding claim of N10,069,692,410.15 (Ten billion, Sixty-Nine million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Two thousand, Four Hundred and Ten Naira, Fifteen Kobo).

“The Senate may wish to note that, subsequent to Resolutions of the National Assembly approving the refunds to the 24 State Governments, the Federal Government has issued Promissory Notes to all the approved States for the settlement of their claims.

“Accordingly, the Senate is hereby requested to kindly approve, the Issuance of a Promissory Note in the sum of N10, 069,692,410.15 as a refund to Kogi State Government for Projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.”

The Senate President referred President Buhari’s request to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for further legislative work.

Senate Asks FG To Declare Emergency On Federal Roads

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate Chamber.

 

 

The Senate has asked the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on federal roads across the country.

Lawmakers in the Senate made the request during Tuesday’s plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

This followed a motion raised by Senator Gershom Bassey from Cross River State who decried the deplorable state of federal roads in Nigeria.

Senator Bassey also informed the Senate that the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has failed to remit the five per cent user charge of fuel pump price to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), as stipulated in the Act for the rehabilitation of federal roads.

In its resolution, the Senate ordered its committees on Petroleum and FERMA to investigate the alleged non-remittance of funds by PPPRA for the rehabilitation of roads in the country.

 

Buhari Seeks Approval

Meanwhile, the Senate received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for approval to pay Kogi State Government N10.069 billion as a refund of money spent by the state on behalf of the Federal Government.

The request was contained in a letter dated October 10 and read by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, during plenary.

The requested amount was for the settlement of inherited local debts and contractual obligations of the Federal Government to Kogi for projects executed on its behalf.

President Buhari, in the letter, recalled that 24 out of 25 state governments had received the approval of the National Assembly for the settlement of claims on projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

He added that the sum of N10.069 billion was the outstanding amount due to the Kogi State government, the only state yet to receive a refund.

The letter reads: “The Distinguished Senate President would recall that, based on my request for the Resolution of the National Assembly approving the establishment of a promissory note programme and a Bond Issuance to settle inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations of the Federal Government, the 8th National Assembly passed Resolutions approving the Issuance of Promissory Notes to refund State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

“The Resolutions of the 8th Assembly were conveyed through three different letters from the Clerk of the National Assembly as follows: Letter dated July 27, 2018 and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.10/277 which approved the Issuance of Promissory notes to 21 states.

“Letter dated January 29, 2019 and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/004 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Delta and Taraba States; and letter dated May 23, 2019 and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/164 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Bauchi State.

“The three Resolutions approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to 24 out of the 25 State Governments requested, and the only State for which approval has not been given is Kogi State, with an outstanding claim of N10,069,692,410.15 (Ten billion, Sixty-Nine million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Two thousand, Four Hundred and Ten Naira, Fifteen Kobo).

“The Senate may wish to note that, subsequent to Resolutions of the National Assembly approving the refunds to the 24 State Governments, the Federal Government has issued Promissory Notes to all the approved States for the settlement of their claims.

“Accordingly, the Senate is hereby requested to kindly approve, the Issuance of a Promissory Note in the sum of N10, 069,692,410.15 as a refund to Kogi State Government for Projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.”

The President’s request was, thereafter, referred to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for further legislative work.

Senate Revisits Bill Seeking To Establish National Assembly Budget Office

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja

 

The Senate on Thursday reintroduced a bill seeking to establish the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO).

The bill, which was passed by the 8th Senate on May 3, 2019, however, failed to receive assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The move seeking to establish the National Assembly Budget office was first conceived in 2005 under the Senate Presidency of Senator Ken Nnamani but failed to make it to the floor of the upper chamber.

Again, the idea to introduce the bill in the 6th Senate under the leadership of Senator David Mark was aborted as it failed to receive the required support for its introduction.

The Bill was first introduced on the floor of the 7th Senate under Senate President David Mark and sponsored by the Senate Leader at the time, Victor Ndoma-Egba. The bill however never made it to becoming law.

Following its reintroduction on Thursday, the bill which scaled first reading on the floor during plenary was sponsored by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North).

The proposed National Assembly budget office will report annually to the Senate and House of Representatives all items funded in the preceding financial year for which no appropriation was made by the National Assembly and all items contained in the Appropriation Act in the preceding financial year but which were not funded by the Federal Government.

The office is to be headed by a Director-General, who shall also report to a governing board made up of a chairman and six members and shall “provide an independent and continuous review of the federal government budgets including monitoring of existing and proposed programmes.

“Provide independent unbiased analysis of the budget of the National Assembly and assist all the committees of the National Assembly in developing their annual budgets.”

Essentially, the NABRO bill will provide assistance to all committees in both chambers of the National Assembly including but not limited to information with respect to budget and all bills relating to new budget heads; information with respect to estimated future revenue and changing revenue conditions.

Besides, the Director-General shall obtain information, data, estimates, and statistics directly from ministries, departments and agencies. More than that, the new law provides that “the Director-General may, upon agreement with the head of any MDA utilise its services, facilities and personnel as needed by the (National Assembly Budget and Research) Office.”

Besides the NABRO bill, nine others scaled first reading during Thursday’s plenary. They are: National Industrial Court Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central); Court of Appeal Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege; Nigerian Maritime Zones Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019, by Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East); City University of Technology Yaba Bill, 2019, by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Lagos West).

Others are: Federal College of Agriculture Ofoni, Bayelsa State (Est.) Bill, 2019, by Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor (APC, Bayelsa West); Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Senator Gershom Bassey (Cross Rover South); Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Senator Abdullahi Adams (APC, Nasarawa West); and Federal Medical Centres Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rovers West).

Senate Resumes Debate On 2020 Budget, Focuses On Increase In VAT

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Senate has continued its debate on the 2020 budget which was proposed on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In today’s sitting the Senate will focus on sectoral allocations and the increase in VAT.

Lawmakers want the National Assembly to increase the budget for critical sectors namely health and education.

Some legislators are also asking President Buhari to take the lead in reforming the petroleum sector by sponsoring the petroleum industry bill as it appears that the previous PIB’s passed by the National Assembly were not assented to by the President.

Senate Revisits Sexual Harassment Bill

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan

 

The Senate on Wednesday revisited the sexual harassment bill which was sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) and passed by the 8th Senate.

The Bill which was introduced by the 8th Senate in October 2016 seeks a five-year jail term and five million naira fine for lecturers convicted for sexually harassing male or female students.

According to the bill, an educator will be “guilty of committing an offence of sexual harassment against a student if he/she has sexual intercourse with a student who is less than 18 years of age; has sexual intercourse with a student or demands sex from a student or a prospective student as a condition to study in an institution, or as a condition to the giving of a passing grade or the granting of honour and scholarships.”

The bill prescribes that: “Any person who commits any of the acts specified in Section 4 of this Act is guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years, but not less than two years without any option of a fine.”

The bill, however, suffered a major setback as it was not given Presidential assent after its passage by the 8th Senate.

Some lawmakers, who were against its passage, had argued that it should be more inclusive and not discriminatory or targeted only at university lecturers.

The reintroduced bill is sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege.

The seven bills that scaled first reading include: Federal Polytechnic Daura Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Babba Kaita Ahmad (APC, Katsina North); Modibo Adama University of Technology Bill, 2019, by Senator Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru (Adamawa Central); National Rice Development Council Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Muhammad Enagi Bima (APC, Niger South), and National Health Insurance Commission Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central).

Others are National Institute for Business Studies Nnewi, Anambra State Bill, 2019, by Senator Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah (YPP, Anambra South), and Federal College of Education Monguno, Borno State Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North).

Lawmakers Begin ‘Speedy’ Debate On 2020 Budget

PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Less than 24 hours after President Muhammadu presented the 2020 appropriation bill to the National Assembly, lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have opened debate on the budget proposal.

The lawmakers are currently making submissions on the bill with some warning of the consequences of the huge deficit and non-performance of revenue-generating agencies.

READ ALSO: Budget 2020: We Dare Buhari To Make Presidency’s Allocation Public – PDP

In the upper chamber, Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi is asking the upper chamber to enact or amend relevant laws to drive revenue generation while minority leader Enyinnaya Abaribe has strong words about the budget proposal describing it as unsustainable.

He explains that the budget has no focus and appeals to the senate president not to be in a hurry to pass it but to look at the facts on the ground.

But Senate Deputy Whip Abdullahi Aliyu disagrees maintaining that the budget indeed has a focus and that it is hinged on sustaining growth and job creation.

Apart from the budget debate, the Senate also confirmed the appointment of Adeleke Adewolu as an executive commissioner on the governing board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the House of Representatives, plenary commenced with representative Chinda Kingsley raising a point of order quoting order 12 rule 8.

He stated that the details of the appropriation bill is not contained in the bill and asks the house to suspend debate until the Minister of Finance submits the details of the house.

Kingsley was however ruled out of order by the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who explained that the general principles of the bill are to be debated and not the details.

Senate To Commence Move On Public Sharing Contract Act amendment

National Assembly Is Ready To Work For Nigerians – Lawan
A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Photo: [email protected]

The Senate on Tuesday commenced move to amend the Product Sharing Contract Act, following consideration of a bill to that effect.

The bill titled “Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019” passed the second reading on Tuesday.

It was consequently referred to the Senate Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Finance for further legislative work.

Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa-Ibom North East), the sponsor, said the bill seeks to amend section 5 of the PSC Act to bring the provisions of that section into conformity with the generality of the provisions of the Act and into congruence with the intendment and essence of Production Sharing Contracts.

He added that “The PSC arrangement was offered by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a contractual arrangement for the exploration and production of petroleum in the 1991 licensing round.”

He explained that the fiscal incentives from the arrangement are distinct and absent from the provisions of the Petroleum Act and the Petroleum Profit Tax Act which regulates the fiscal regime of other types of petroleum exploration and production arrangements.

Senator Akpan further stated that “the Act provided in section 16 that where the price of crude oil exceeds US$20 per barrel, the PSC Act will be reviewed to ensure that the share of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in the additional revenue is adjusted to the extent that the PSCs shall be economically beneficial to the FGN and that in any event, the PSC Act shall be liable to be reviewed after 15 years from its commencement in 1993 and every 5 years thereafter.”

“This amendment alters the royalty payable by the PSC contractors so that whenever oil and gas price increases the share of government increases with the automatic inception of the newly introduced royalty by price mechanism”, Senator Akpan added.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday urged the federal government to give priority attention to the development of the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Research Centre and Museum.

The call was made by the upper chamber in resolutions reached after consideration of a motion on “The need to ensure immediate commencement of the Oil and Gas Research Centre and Museum, Oloibiri, Bayelsa State -Nigeria’s first oil field”.

Sponsor of the motion, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (Bayelsa East) said in exhibition of the importance of the first oil field and the need to develop the foreign exchange earning tourism potentials of the area, the idea to build a world class museum of oil and gas was conceptualised, designed and foundation stone laid by President Shehu Shagari in 1953.

According to him, though the federal government removed the project from the National Commission for Museum as rewarded and domiciled with the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in 2011, the project still remains moribund.

The Senate, therefore, urged the Federal Government to direct PTDF and contractors to mobilise to site to commence the construction of the Oil and Gas research Centre and Museum.

It also directed relevant Senate committees to carry out intensive oversight on the implementation of the project.

Okorocha Calls For One Senator Per State

No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha, INEC Insists
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (file)

 

Senator Rochas Okorocha has said that the Senate must begin to make sacrifice and aid in cutting down the cost of governance by having just one Senatorial representative instead of three per state.

Mr Okorocha, the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, argued for the cut in the cost of running the legislature during plenary on Thursday in reaction to the report presented by the Committee on Finance and National Planning on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Planning Strategy Paper (FSP).

Okorocha said, “We must begin to make sacrifice and cut down our cost of governance by having just one (1) Senatorial representative instead of three (3) per state. We should fund the productive sector of our economy.

“Here, we have three senators per state. In that National Assembly (House of Representatives) over there, we have 360 eligible human beings. This country must begin to make sacrifices and cut down the cost of governance.

“I do not know what we are doing differently today in the 9th Senate from what we did in the 8th Senate and what we did in the 7th Senate, 6th Senate and so forth and so on. And if what we are doing today is similar to what we did in the 8th Senate be rest assured the product will be the same.”

He also asked that tax incentives should be given to charity organizations who are willing to take children off the streets and give them meaningful lives.

The former Imo State governor asked the Senate to look for new ways to proffer solutions that will help generate funds to support the needs of Nigerians, to create jobs and put food on the table of the masses.

UPDATED: Senate Approves 2020-2022 MTEF, FSP

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate Chamber.

 

 

The Senate has approved the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

The lawmakers gave the nod following a debate that lasted about two hours on Thursday at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

This followed the presentation of the report on the 2020-2022 MTEF FSP by the Senate Committee on Finance.

Shortly after Senator Solomon Adeola made the submission, the lawmakers passed all the recommendations in the report.

Some of the recommendations passed include the adoption of 2.18 MBPD as the daily production output in 2020.

The lawmakers also adopted the sum of $57 per barrel as crude oil benchmark price, as well as an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar for the 2020 fiscal year.

Also, the Senate passed a resolution that the saving on income accruing from the increase of the benchmark amounting to 172 billion be used to pay salaries and emolument of the proposed N30,000 new employees.

Shortly before the report was adopted, Senator Gabriel Suswam urged the committee to critically look into the issue of budget deficits.

He said, “We should look at the production sharing contract because we have been short-changed. We need to look into it so we can adequately fund our budgets

On his part, Senator Ibikunle Amosun believes Nigeria is on the path of greatness and will be great.

He, however, stressed that there was a need to improve revenue to fund projects and address the issue of borrowing.

The senator said, “We should change this mono-economy we are currently running. The enabler of development is infrastructure. If we must borrow, it must be for capital projects.”

Others who contributed to the debate were Senator Abdullahi Yahaya, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, Senator George Sekibo, and Senator Ayo Akinyelure among others.

The Senate, thereafter, approved the recommendations of the Committees on Finance and National Planning on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, informed his colleagues that there was a need for diversification in various sectors of the nation’s economy.

“We need to have an economy that provides jobs and creates wealth. We must ensure that our procurement process is well monitored.

“There must be efficiency and prudence in the way we do procurement,” the Senate President said.

Senate Committee Submits Report On 2020-2022 MTEF, FSP

File photo: [email protected]

 

 

The Senate Committee on Finance has presented its report on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West) presented the report to the Senate during Thursday’s plenary at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

In the report, the committee observed that the salaries and remuneration for the proposed recruitment of 30 thousand personnel in the Police, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were not captured in the MTEF and FSP.

The committee also expressed displeasure over the attitude of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the under-disclosure of the e-collection of stamp duties.

It also observed that the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as it relates to the cost of production, were shrouded in secrecy.

On Wednesday last week, lawmakers in the committee invited the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to clear the air on the issue.