2024 N26tr Budget: Federal Govt. targets N7.8tr loan

The Senate yesterday passed the 2024 – 2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).

This followed the Senate’s consideration and adoption of the report of the Joint Committees on Finance, Appropriations, National Planning and Economic Affairs and Local and Foreign Debts on the MTEF/FSP.

The report was presented by the Committee Chairman on Finance and Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Sani Musa.

The Senate approved N26 trillion aggregate expenditure for 2024. The sum comprises N10.2trillion for recurrent expenditure, including personnel costs for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of N4.49 trillion; capital expenditure (exclusive of transfers) of N5.9trillion; special intervention (recurrent) of N200 billion; and special intervention (capital) of N7billion.

The Senate also approved a revenue projection of N16.9 trillion, N9 trillion budget deficit, N7.8 trillion borrowings and statutory transfers of N1.3 trillion. Others are N8.2 trillion for debt service, N243.6 billion for Sinking Fund and N1.27 trillion for pension and gratuities.

The committee, in its other recommendations adopted by the Senate, called for the winding-up and probe of the Nigeria Postal Service, (NIPOST). It also said all tax waivers from 2015 to date should be investigated by the relevant committees of the Senate. It further recommended that the oil price benchmark of USD$73.96, $73.76 and $69.90 per barrel be approved for 2024, 2025, and 2026.

Other recommendations include: “That the daily crude oil production of 1.78 barrels per day (bpd), 1.80 bpd, and 1.81 bpd, for 2024, 2025, and 2026 respectively be approved subject to NNPC confirmation of actual and verifiable deliveries.

“That all items locally-produced should be outrightly banned from importation, and Customs tariffs amended accordingly. That CBN should ensure that banks have access to Forex, in order to provide funds to importers and other users to prevent patronage of the parallel market”.

The committee urged the Federal Government to continue to enforce the Performance Management Framework for Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs), by ensuring that they operate in a more fiscally responsible manner, while reviewing their operational efficiencies and declared costs-to-income ratios.

The Senate adopted the recommendation that the National Assembly Standing Committees should review the laws governing the activities of all revenue-generating agencies. This, it said, is to identify specific sections or clauses that need to be amended in order to plug waste and increase the government’s capacity to generate revenue.

The Senate urged Federal agencies to deploy ICT in the collection of all revenues, including stamp duty activities, in order to block leakages.

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