Economy

Senate Committee insists non-oil revenue unrealistic

The Senate Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriations and National Planning has insisted that the non-oil revenue were unrealistic.

The lawmakers specifically cited the FGN Independent Revenue projection of N807billion for 2017, where only N155.14billion (representing 74 per cent failure) was achieved as of September this year.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance,  John Enoh and a member of the Joint Committee, Ibrahim Danbaba (APC-Sokoto), during an interactive session in Abuja on Tueday, wondered why the same projection was used in 2018.

“Why don’t we have anything on interest rate as part of the MTEF document? That will be the best way to talk about aligning the monetary and the fiscal.

“Why are we putting more than N800 billion as independent revenue when the President admitted in his address to the National Assembly that it had suffered about 74 per cent variance?

“And yet in 2018, we are still putting more than N800 billion for independent revenue. Are we just balancing the figures?

“How do you expect to get the revenue from the beginning even what you are projecting you know that you can’t make it?” Enoh queried.

Also speaking, Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi), said: “I find it difficult to understand why the Budget for 2017 should be truncated by 31st December when less than 20 per cent of the capital Budget has been released.

The development comes as the Senate had revealed that it would approve the 2018 to 2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) this week.

To this end, the debate on general principles of the N8.61 trillion 2018 Appropriation Bill, earlier scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week, has been shifted to November 28 and November 29.

MTEF/FSP provides the parameters upon which the Budget is prepared.

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