Nigerian Govt pegs oil at $30-$40 for budget

No Comments » November 26th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Energy Development Project




Govt pegs oil at $30-$40 for budget
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

  • Raises non-oil revenue to N300b
  • Reps query defence ministry
    From John-Abba Ogbodo, Abuja

    FACED with tumbling price of oil in the international market, both the Executive and Legislature have taken steps to making a Budget 2009 that would accommodate the vagaries in the economy.

    The action of the Federal Government came just as the House Committee on Defence yesterday criticised the Ministry of Defence for the shoddy handling of the 2008 appropriation.

    The Guardian learnt yesterday that at a recent meeting of the Ministry of Finance officials led by the Finance Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman and the National Assembly, it was agreed that due to the volatility of the oil market in recent times, the 2009 budget should take departure from the previous year’s so as to be able to cushion whatever negative effects that might arise.

    One of the areas that was considered to be critical is the oil benchmark which was $59 per barrel in the 2008 budget but is now being reduced to between $30 per barrel in the worst scenario or $40 per barrel in the best scenario.

    Another area is the revenue target for the independent sources outside revenue from oil. According to sources close to the meeting, it was agreed that the revenue from independent sources be jacked up from N120 billion estimated in the 2008 budget to N300 billion in 2009.

    The meeting also agreed that the joint committees of finance of both chambers should work together throughout the 2009 budget preparation so as to avoid delay by way of joint conference for harmonisation of positions of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    The meeting also agreed that the Ministry of Finance and Budget Office should not allow ministries and agencies to lump together revenue items but should separate them clearly for easy monitoring. The Guardian learnt that the decision was based on the discovery by the House Committee on Finance during its investigation of non- remittance of Federal Government revenue that some government agencies used the lumping method to short-change government of revenue.

    The chairman of the committee, John Enoh, disclosed that the panel uncovered about N3 trillion revenue that was not remitted to government coffers.

    Meanwhile, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua last night had a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly over the 2009 budget as well as the 2008 supplementary appropriation. Although information from the meeting which held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, as at press time was still sketchy, it was learnt that both parties agreed that there was the need to allow the implementation of budget 2009 take off in good time so as to cover lost ground.

    John Enoh confirmed the meeting with officials of the Ministry of Finance. Although he declined to disclose the details of the deliberation, he assured that with the exchange of ideas that had taken place, the 2009 budget would meet the expectations of Nigerians. “We had a fruitful meeting with the officials from the executive arm of government and everything will work well for the country. We are examining all issues concerning the budget. And I believe that at the end of this interaction, the nation would be better for it,” he said.

    The Guardian further learnt that the 2009 budget may be presented to the joint session of the National Assembly tomorrow, after yesterday’s meeting with the lawmakers.

    In a related development, the House Committee on Defence led by Wole Oke had no kind words for the Ministry of Defence yesterday at the interactive session held in the National Assembly. The committee was not particularly happy that with a few days to the presentation of the 2009 budget by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the ministry was not yet in a position to state the performance of the 2008 budget. The members of the committee were infuriated when the Minister of State for Defence, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, said she was not in a position to comment on the performance of the budget because most of the key officers responsible for budget matters in the ministry were away to Bauchi for the Chief of Army Staff conference.

    “We will not take the excuse that the people involved are not around. We are here for a serious business. Last week, we were here but no information from you, only until the chairman of the committee got across to you on the phone. The minister of state should be able to co-ordinate the reports of the ministry. This is an indication that you are not ready for us, and it is very unfair. You are just here to embarrass us. We are expecting the 2009 budget any moment from now and we ought to know what has happened to the 2008 budget. We are not satisfied with the situation,” the committee said.

    The permanent secretary in the ministry, Dr. Sanusi Haruna, however, pleaded with the committee for understanding with the officials, explaining that their action was not in any way intended to embarrass the lawmakers. He apologised to the committee for the lapses, adding that the letter received from the committee gave them a different impression.


Opt In Image
Send Me Free Email Updates

(enter your email address below)

Leave a Reply


Home | About | Contact | Login