The Senate has approved the 2021-2023 Medium Term Financial Expenditure framework for the 2021 budget and beyond.
This followed adoption of the recommendations of the report of Senate joint committees on National Planning and Finance, on the 2021-2023 MTEF and FSP documents.
The approval gives backing to the proposed 2021 budget in which Federal Government requested for retention of revenue of N7.89 trillion out of the total proposed expenditure of N13.08 trillion in the 2021-2023 medium term financial profile.
The Senate approved the fiscal deficit of N5.19 trillion and borrowings of N4.28 trillion, including foreign and domestic borrowings.
The Senate also approved the statutory transfers, totalling, N484.4 billion, debt service estimate of N3.12 trillion, while sinking fund to the tune of N220 billion was also approved. It also approved pension, gratuities and retirees benefits of N520.6 billion and Federal Government aggregate expenditure of N13.08 trillion.
The expenditure is made up of total recurrent (Non-debt) of N5.66 trillion; Personnel Costs of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of N3.05 trillion. It includes capital expenditure (exclusive of Transfers) of N3.58 trillion, Special Intervention (recurrent) amounting to N350 billion and special intervention (capital) of N20billion.
The Senate also approved daily crude oil production of 1.86mbpd for 2021; 2.09mbpd for 2022; and 2.38mbpd for 2023. This it said was to ensure greater budget realism and disruptions due to attacks, sabotage in the Niger-Delta which had substantially abated for a while. The Senate equally approved that the benchmark oil price of 40 dollars per barrel should remain because of the clear evidence of wide consultations with key stakeholders. It also approved the exchange rate of N379 dollars proposed by the executive for the 2021-2023.
It will be recalled that financial documents were submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for consideration on July 21.
Chairman of the joint Committee, Sen. Solomon Adeola, while presenting its recommendations said there was need for the National Assembly to ensure effective collaboration with the executive to ensure effective implementation of the MTEF and FSP.
Following the presentations and contributions by some senators on need to cut cost of governance, reduce borrowing, reduce waste and shore up government revenue, Senate approved the 20-point recommendations of the committee. This it said was based on the determination of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to pursue unification around its rate over the medium term, where investors and exporters transact dollars at market determined prices.
The Senate also gave approval to the projected Gross Domestic Product GDP growth rate of 3.00 per cent, given the Federal Government’s response via fiscal policies adapted to contain the damage done to the economy by COVID-19, including the N500 billion stimulus fund. It also approved the projected Inflation rate of 11.95 per cent among other recommendations.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks, said that the Senate Committees via its oversight must ensure that revenue generating agencies meet their targets of revenue to the federation account. “When it comes to revenue generation and remittances, we need to work so hard to meet our expectations especially for funding of development projects in the budget. Now that so many more agencies of government have been added, there is need for our committee on finance to closely monitor the revenue meeting of targets for these agencies. We should explore other options of funding the budget and minimise borrowing but we cannot eliminate borrowing totally.”