Tuesday, 18 December 2012

NASS Agree On 78 Dollar Per Barrel For Budget

The two Chambers of the National Assembly have agreed on a Seventy Nine Dollar benchmark for the Medium term Expenditure Frame work submitted by the Executive arm of government.

This means the 2013 budget will be based on seventy nine dollars for a barrel of crude oil.

The agreement followed the adoption of a Conference report which harmonised the versions of the two Houses on the issue.

 The additional funds arising from the Four Dollar  increase is expected to be used for the  reduction of  domestic borrowing and deficit as well as funding critical infrastructures.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had on the 9th and 16th Oof October respectively passed the Frame work seting the stage for the harmonization of the two reports.

In those reports, the Senate had settled for 78 dollars per barel while the House had insisted on 80 dollars per barrel; this waqs against the 75 dollar per barrel presented by the executive arm.

This took place on the 7th of November when the Committee adopted a unified version.

In the agreed version, the Federal Government should was urged to exercise extreme caution on foreign borrowing while Corporate Tax and VAT rates of 30% and 5% respectively are to be adopted for 2013-2015.

The lawmakers also rejected  the structures being set-up in States, Senatorial Zones and Local Governments in respect of Federal Government SURE-P intervention programmes;

The National Assembly also agreed that Crude oil production levels  be retained as 2.526mbpd 2013, 2.611mbpd 2014 and 2.648mbpd 2015;

The Executive arm was urged to increase funding for frontier exploration services to increase the nation crude oil resources; while Ministeries and its Agencies must comply fully with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

While the lawmakers accepted that the habit of poor budget implementation and return of unspent funds may continue in the medium term, this indefensible fiscal habit, they held,  is at variance with the hallmarks of best practices and should not be encouraged, government must ensure full implementation of the budget.

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