Senate Rejects Committee move to Reduce N3.6trllion Subsidy in Budget
The Senate has voted against its finance committee proposal to reduce the N3.6trllion subsidy to N1.7tn in the 2023 budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in the 2023 – 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper proposed N3.6trillion for fuel subsidy from January to June in 2023.
The Senate Committee on Finance had, in its report on the proposals presented for consideration by the Senate, recommended N1.7tn for fuel subsidy for the entire 2023, which was rejected by sustaining the earlier proposed N3.6trillion earmarked for subsidy.
The committee chairman, Solomon Adeola, led the committee’s recommendation for a $73 per barrel oil price benchmark for the proposed N19.76 2023 budget. It was however approved against the $70 per barrel proposed by the executive in the MTEF/FSP documents.
Recommendation on exiting 10 out of the 63 government-owned enterprises made by the committee was also approved by the Senate.
The affected enterprises are the Nigerian Communication Commission, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigeria Port Authority, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
Others are the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream, and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency
The recommendation stated, “That 10 out of the 63 GOEs be placed on the cost of collections to serve as a test case for other GOEs which can be added in the future.
“The list of these GOEs includes, NCC, CAC, NPA, NIMASA, NUPRC, FIRS, CUSTOMS, NMPDRA, JAMB and NAFDAC with immediate effect through the proposed Finance Bill 2023 coming up with amendment on the existing Act of agencies.”
Adeola, further explained that scenario two of the 2023 budget proposed by the executive in the MTEF / FSP document was adopted by the committee because of the lesser vote for the budget deficit and over N1trillion for capital votes for the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.