By Kingsley Okoye
The Senate on Tuesday passed the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) presented by President Muhmmadu Buhari for consideration of Senate.
The approval of the MTEF and FSP was sequel to the presentation of a report by Senate Committee on Finance and consideration of same at plenary.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos), while presenting the report said the 2020-2022 MTEF and FSP provided a postscript to the initial publication and update with the revised assumptions and fiscal strategy given current realities posed by COVID-19.
He said following the revision of MTEF and FSP, the 2020 Federal Government’s budget would be amended to reflect the changes articulated.
He said the proposed amended of the budget provided for the COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund and other adjustments required due to the decline in international oil prices.
The Senate after presentation of the report and contributions of senators approved the recommendations of the committee.
Some of the recommendations includes that the price of crude oil be increase to 28 dollars per barrel as against the 25 dollars per barrel proposed by the executive in the 2020-2022 MTEF and FSP.
This it said was a result of the recent upward trend of the crude oil market which as today stood at 38 dollars per barrel with a strong expectation that the price will rise to 40 dollars to 45 dollars per barrel.
It also approved that the oil production output be sustained at 1.8 million per barrels day as proposed by the executive as this was the decision of cutting production by OPEC which Nigeria is a member.
It also approved that the deficit of N4.9 trillion on the budget would largely be financed from new borrowings by the federal government
In a related development, Senate also at plenary approved President Buhari’s external loan request of N5.513 billion to fund the revised 2020 Appropriation Act.
The approval of the request was sequel to the presentation of a report by Sen. Clifford Ordia (PDP-Edo), Chairman Senate Committee on Local and Foreign loan. (NAN)