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Business News of Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Source: premiumtimesng.com

Lawan, finance minister, others meet over 2023-2025 MTEF, 2023 budget

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed

The leadership of the National Assembly on Tuesday met with the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, over the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper(MTEF/FSP).

The MTEF/FSP contain projections upon which the annual budget is prepared. The National Assembly would usually consider and approve the documents before the budget of the following year is presented.

Tuesday’s meeting which had in attendance Ms Ahmed, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Idris Wase, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, was tagged “a consultative meeting” and was held behind closed doors.

Initial revelations

The meeting comes barely a week after the minister presented a consultation paper for the 2023-2025 MTEF/FSP.

The paper reviewed the nation’s economic and budgetary performance from January to April 2022 and, in some instances, January to June.

It showed that the federal government spent N1.93 trillion on debt servicing in the first quarter – about 20 per cent higher than the retained revenue put at N1.63 trillion.

Oil production was 1.32 million barrels per day (mbpd) in April against the 1.60mbpd projected in the budget. The federal government blamed the low production on cases of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

The paper further disclosed that the government spent N4.72 trillion of the N5.77 trillion spending estimate for the period.

Consultative meeting

Before they went into closed doors, Mr Lawan noted that the conversation on the 2023-2025 MTEF/FSP, was to kickstart the budget process for 2023.

He said the lawmakers want to “maintain an established trend – January to December budget cycle.”

Mr Lawan’s stance was contained in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi.

“This is, of course, very important to us,” he said. “For us, this is our last MTEF/FSP, because our tenure will come to an end on 11th June, 2023.”

While he pledged commitment to the whole MTEF/FSP and budget passage process, he hoped that estimates for the 2023 budget will be presented between the last week of September and the first week of October.

Similarly, Mr Wase assured the readiness of the House to work with relevant stakeholders to “give the best.”

Earlier, Ms Ahmed had said urgent action is required to address revenue underperformance and expenditure efficiency at national and sub-national levels.

Others who attended the meeting include the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba and heads of government revenue generating agencies such as NNPC Limited, Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Custom Service and the Director General of the Debt Management Office.