BY OKEY NDIRIBE
ABUJA —The House of Representatives, yesterday, adopted $80 per barrel of crude oil as its benchmark for the 2013 budget proposal, five dollars higher than what was proposed by the Presidency.
This was part of the recommendations of the lower house on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) which was presented by the executive arm of government last month.
The recommendation was contained in the report of the House’s Joint Committees on Finance, Legislative Budget and Research, National Planning and Economic Development and Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the MTEF.
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin (PDP-Kano), Chairman of House Committee on Finance who led the debate faulted the executive arm for painting a gloomy picture of the economy, adding that independent forecasts by experts pointed to the contrary.
The legislators warned that since foreign borrowing was not projected in the MTEF, any additional foreign borrowing during the period must be approved by the National Assembly.
The House also approved the crude production targets of N2.5 million, N2.6 million and N2.6 million barrels per day for 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.