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Senate Okays Harmonised 2015 – 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework

The Senate on Thursday in Abuja approved the harmonised version of the 2015 – 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

This followed a presentation of the Conference Committee report by the Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi (PDP-Kaduna North).

Makarfi said the Conference Committee adopted N190 exchange rate to the dollar, $53 per barrel oil benchmark as well as a statutory transfer of $368 billion.

“On the exchange rate, the Conference Committee adopted the Senate version which has N190 exchange rate to the dollar. On the oil price benchmark, whereas the Senate passed it on $52 per barrel, the House passed it on $54 per barrel.

“The conference committee agreed to recommend a benchmark of $53 per barrel. Item three is on statutory transfer, the conference committee adopted the house version which reduced the statutory transfer from $411.85 billion to $368 billion.”

Presiding over plenary, the President of the Senate, Sen. Mark, raised concern over the adoption of $53 per barrel by the conference committee.

He said the committee should have adopted either the benchmark passed by Senate or House of Representatives.

“The two conference teams have no right to do that; you either take one or the other. You either take the House version or the Senate version; you cannot set a new one; no you can’t. It is okay, we will let this one go.

“Those in favour that the Senate approves the Conference Committee report on the 2015 – 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) say `I’; against say `nay’.

“The `I’s” have it. Thank you very much. I hope that with this the appropriation committee will hasten the budget preparations.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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