The Senate has approved the removal of Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) from the 2023 National Budget.
The affected agencies are Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Others are Corporate Affairs Commission, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission.
The decision of the Senate was sequel to the report of the MTEF/FSP submitted by the Senate Committee on Finance, chaired by Senator Adeola Olamilekan, which was considered on Wednesday.
According to the report: “That 10 out of the 63 GOEs be placed on cost of collections to serve as a test case for other GOEs which can be added in the future. The list of these GOEs include , NCC, CAC, NPA, NIMASA, NUPRC, FIRS, CUSTOMS, NMPDRA, JAMB, NAFDAC, with immediate effect with the proposed finance bill 2023 coming up with the amendment of the existing Act of the above mentioned agencies.”
Meanwhile, the Committee has pegged the total aggregate expenditure for 2023 at N19.76 trillion – comprising of a Total Recurrent (Non-debt) of N8.53 trillion; Personnel Costs (MDAs) of N827.8 billion; Capital expenditure (exclusive of transfers) N3.96 trillion; Special Intervention (recurrent) amounting to N350 billion; and Special intervention (capital) of N7 billion.
Other recommendations by the Committee which were adopted by the Senate after due consideration are: “That the daily crude oil production of 1.69mbpd, 1.83mbpd, and 1.83mbpd for 2023, 2024 and 2025, be approved.
“That the oil price of $73 per barrel of crude oil be approved as a result of continuous increase in the oil price in the global oil market and other peculiar situations such as continuous invasion of Ukraine by Russia as this will result in saving of N155 billion.
“That the exchange rate of N437.57 be sustained as contained in the MTEF/FSP document with continuous engagement between the Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning with the view of bridging the gap between the official market and parallel market.
“That the projected GDP growth rate of 3.75 per cent be approved. That the projected Inflation rate of 17.16 per cent be also approved.
“That the projected new borrowings of N8.437 trillion (including foreign and domestic borrowing) be approved, subject to the approval of the provision of details of the borrowing plan by the National Assembly.”
Other parameters approved in the 2023-2025 MTEF/FSP document based on the recommendations in the report included:
“A retained revenue of N9.352 trillion as a result of increase in the benchmark; Fiscal deficit of N11.3 trillion (including GOEs);
“New borrowings of N8.437trillion (including foreign and domestic borrowing), subject to the provision of details of the borrowing plan to the National Assembly.
“Statutory transfers, totaling, N722.11 billion; Debt Service estimate of N6.31 trillion; Sinking Fund to the tune of N247.7 billion; Pension, Gratuities & Retirees Benefits of N827.8 billion; and Aggregate FGN Expenditure of N19.76 trillion; made up of total recurrent (non-debt) of N8.53 trillion; personnel costs (MDAs) of N827.8 billion; capital expenditure (exclusive of transfers) of N3.96 trillion; Special Intervention (recurrent) amounting to N350 billion; and Special intervention (capital) of N7 billion;
“The Committee hereby recommends that the cost of petroleum subsidy be capped at N3.6 trillion.
“Accordingly, relevant agencies of the government will be required to take necessary action to keep the petroleum subsidy cost to government within N1.7 trillion ceiling in 2023 by this action the sum of N737,306,443,151 will be saved and this should be used to reduce the fiscal deficit of N11.3 trillion of the government as contained in the MTEF/FSP.
“That the fiscal deficit of 11.3 trillion be reduced with the savings from subsidy regime amounting to N737.31billion to N10.563trillion.
“The Committee recommends significant reduction in both waivers and tax exemptions of corporate organizations to cushion the effect of budget deficit.
“The Committee also recommends that all revenue generating agencies should reconcile their accounts with the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the report of which should be submitted to the Committee on Finance for consideration and approval.
“That there should be a common electronic platform for reconciliations among the government MDAs, OAGF and Fiscal Responsibility Commission for effective monitoring and remittances.
“That there should be strict compliance with the Constitution, Fiscal Responsibility Act and other extant laws by agencies of the government on revenue remittances.
“That the relevant oversight committees of National Assembly are at liberty to remove recycled projects in their budget proposal during the Committees’ budget defence.
“Mainstreaming of annual GOEs’ budgets into the federal government budget processes to ensure the same level of scrutiny, procurement and monitoring exercise.”