The Senate on Thursday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to increase fuel subsidy payments in 2022 to N4 trillion from N442.72 billion.
The legislators made the approval after considering the report of the Committee on Finance on the Revised 2022 Fiscal Framework.
The Senate also approved the President’s request to raise the oil price benchmark from $62 to $73 and the reduction of projected oil production volume from 1.883 million to 1.6 million barrels per day.
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Other recommendations of the committee adopted by the Senate include a cut in the provision for Federally Funded upstream projects being implemented by N200 billion from N352.80 and an increase in the Federal Government Independent Revenue of N400 billion.
The Senate also approved an additional provision of N182.45 billion to cater for the needs of the Nigeria Police Force.
Also approved were Domestic debt service provision of N76.13 billion, and net reductions in Statutory Transfers by N66.07 billion, as follows:
a. NDDC, by N13.46 billion from N102.78 billion to N89.32 billion;
b. NEDC, by N6.30 billion from N48.08 billion to N41.78 billion;
c. UBEC, by N23.16 billion from N112.29 billion to N89.13 billion;
d. Basic Health Care Fund, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion; and
e. NASENI, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion.
The Fiscal Deficit of N7.35 trillion in the 2022 budget was also approved.
Subsequently, the Senate passed the 2022 Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill.
“Congratulations for working so hard to ensure that we pass the 2022 Appropriation Act,” Senate President Ahmed Lawan said.
“The entire country is waiting for this Bill to be passed because this is the only way the government will provide services to the people of this country.
“We expect compliance with this Act when it is signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Ministries, Departments and Agencies should only carry out expenditures that has been approved in the Budget.”
In a letter dated April 5, 2022 and read on the Senate floor on Tuesday, President Buhari said a review of the 2022 fiscal framework had become necessary due to new developments, including the Russia-Ukraine war.
The increase in fuel subsidy payments, he noted, was due to the suspension of fuel subsidy removal after concerns were raised by organised labour.
“As you are aware, there have been new developments both in the global economy as well as in the domestic economy which have necessitated the revision of the 2022 Fiscal Framework on which the 2022 Budget was based,” the President said.
“These developments include spikes in the market price of crude oil, aggravated by the Russian-Ukraine war, significantly lower oil production volume due principally to production shut-ins as a result of massive theft of crude oil between the production platforms and the terminals.
“The decision to suspend the removal of Petroleum Motor Spirit subsidy at a time when high crude oil prices have elevated the subsidy cost and has significantly eroded government revenues.”