House Approves 2024-2026 MTEF, Pegs Oil Price at  $73.96, Exchange Rate at N700

House Approves 2024-2026 MTEF, Pegs Oil Price at  $73.96, Exchange Rate at N700

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The House  of Representatives yesterday approved the 2024-2026 Medium-term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

The lawmakers also approved $73.96, $73.76 and $69.90 per barrel respectively as benchmark oil prices for daily crude oil production of 1.78 million bpd, 1.80 million bpd, and 1.81 million bpd for 2024, 2025 and 2026 respectively.

The House gave its approval at the plenary after the report was laid by Hon. James Faleke.

The House recommended that: “The benchmark oil price of USD$73.96, $73.76 and $69.90 per barrel be approved for 2024, 2025, and 2026 respectively.

“That the daily crude oil production of 1.78 million bpd, 1.80 million bpd, and 1.81 million bpd, for 2024, 2025, and 2026 respectively be approved subject to Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) confirmation of actual and verifiable deliveries.

“That the exchange rate of  N700,  N665.61 and N669.79  to US$1 proposed by the executive for the periods 2024–2026 be considered for approval with the federal government’s vigorous drive to enhance local production (both oil and non-oil) for increased foreign reserve growth,” it stated.

The House further recommended that all items locally produced should be  banned outright from importation and customs tariffs amended accordingly.

The House urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that banks have access to FX to provide funds to importers and other users and to prevent patronage of the parallel market.

In light of the federal government’s response in terms of fiscal measures to stimulate the economy through significant investment in infrastructure, small enterprises and the agricultural sector, the House approved the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates of 3.76 per cent, 4.22 per cent, and 4.78 per cent in the years 2024, 2025, and 2026.

The Green Chamber also approved inflation rate of 21.40 per cent in 2024, 20.30 per cent in 2025, and 18.60 per cent in 2026.

It added: “The federal government’s target-setting approach and its determination to enhance the major revenue-generating agencies’ collection efficiency to support the fiscal deficit estimate of N9 trillion is noted and hereby approved.”

The House called on  the federal government to continue to enforce the implementation of the Performance Management Framework by ensuring that they operate in a more fiscally responsible manner while reviewing their operational efficiencies and declared costs to-income ratios

It said the N7.8 trillion in new borrowings—both domestic and foreign be supported as well, given the country’s current effective debt management strategy, which has moderated borrowing costs and decreased the amount of short-term debt in the portfolio and refinancing risk.

It added: “ The MTEF/FSP document’s ancillary parameters listed below for 2024–2026 should be maintained as well.

“The federal government recommended spending N26 trillion, with N16.9 trillion in retained revenue; a N9 trillion budget deficit; N7.8 trillion in new borrowings (including borrowing from foreign and domestic sources); N1.3 trillion worth of statutory  transfers; an estimated N8.2 trillion in debt service; N243.6 billion in the Sinking Fund; N1.27 trillion in pension, gratuity, and retiree benefits.

“Total recurrent (non-debt) of N10.2 trillion; Personnel Costs (MDAs) of N4.49 trillion. Capital Expenditure (exclusive of transfers) of N5.9 trillion; Special Intervention (Recurrent) of N200 billion; and Special Intervention (Capital) of N7 billion comprise the aggregate FGN Expenditure of N26 trillion;

“That the National Assembly begins the process of amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA, 2007) to enhance the agencies’ ability to enforce fiscal responsibility and impose sanctions on erring staff. Specifically, about Sections 21 (1) and 22 (1)(2).”

The House further recommended that the National Assembly’s Standing Committees take prompt action to review the laws governing the activities of all revenue-generating agencies under their purview.

It added that this was to identify specific sections or clauses that need to be amended to plug waste and increase the government’s capacity to generate revenue.

It advised that the sum of N10 billion released by the ministry of finance for the proposed NIPOST restructuring and recapitalisation be investigated and the funds fully recovered if established to be injudiciously utilised.

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