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National Assembly approves 2015-2017 expenditure framework

By on March 14, 2015

The Senate in plenary on Thursday approved the harmonised version of the 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The upper legislative chamber approved the report after the Chairman of its Committee on Finance,   Senator Ahmed Makarfi, presented the harmonised version by the Senate and House of Representatives of the MTEF/FSP.

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

He said, “On the exchange rate, the Conference Committee adopted the Senate’s version, which has N190 as the 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. On statutory transfer, the committee adopted the House version, which reduced the statutory transfer from $411.85bn to $368bn.”

The committee also adopted the House of Representatives’ version of the National Assembly budget of N120bn.

The Federal Ministry of Finance had allocated N115bn for the federal legislature, but the lawmakers added N5bn to it.

Senate President, David Mark, faulted the committee for adopting a benchmark different from the ones recommended by the Senate and House of Representatives.

Mark said, “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.”

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has asked the Senate to screen Justice Amir Sanusi for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in accordance with Section 231(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

Jonathan, in a letter addressed to Mark, said Sanusi’s recommendation was in conformity with Section 231 Sub Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which gives the President power to appoint Justices of the Supreme Court.

The letter read, “Acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and subject to confirmation by the Senate. I hereby present the nomination of Hon. Justice Amir Sanusi for consideration by the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“It is my hope that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration and approval of the distinguished members of the Senate.”