…approve N1.7trn for petrol subsidy
As President Muhammadu Buhari presents the 2023 budget estimates before a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday, the House of Representatives has recommended that 10 government- owned enterprises (GOEs) be placed on the cost of collection list immediately in order to boost revenue generation for the implementation of the budget.
TheyaretheFederalInland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Corporate AffairsCommission(CAC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the NationalAgencyforDrugsand Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The rests are the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
By this, the affected GOE’s will be allowed to collect and expend a certain percentage of the internally generated revenue andremit a prescribed percentage to the Federation Account. The decision followed the approval of the recommendations of the report of the House Committee on Finance onthe2023-2025MediumTerm Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/ FSP) at the plenary on Thursday.
Thereportpresentedbythe Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Abdullahi Saidu, and approved by the plenary, said“Tenoutof the63GOEsbe placed onthecostof collections with immediate effect, just like FIRS, Customs, toserveasatest caseforother GOEs, whichcan be added in the future to the list of this GOEs. “They include NCC, CAC, NPA, NIMASA, NUPRC, NMPDRA, JAMB, NAFDAC; the proposed 2023 Finance Bill makes amendments of the existing Act and include the above-mentioned agencies.”
The House also approved the committee’s recommendation that the cost of petroleum subsidy be capped at N1.7 trillion and accordingly, all relevant agencies of the governments will be required to take necessary action to keep the petroleum subsidy cost to the government within the N1.7 trillion ceiling in 2023. According to Saidu, with this, at least, N737,306, 443,151 will be saved and that should be used to reduce the fiscal deficit of N11.3 trillion of the government as contained in the MTEF/FSP. Other approvals made by the lower chamber from the committee’s recommendations include: “A significant reduction in both waivers and tax exemptions of corporate organisations to cushion the effect of the budget deficit.
“All revenue-generating agencies should reconcile their accounts with the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), the report of which should be submitted to the Committee of Finance for consideration and approval. “There should be a common electronic platform for reconciliations amongst the government MDAs, OAGF and Fiscal Responsibility Commission for effective monitoring and remittances; there should be strict compliance with the Constitution, Fiscal Responsibility Act and other extant laws by all agencies of the government with regards to revenue remittances.
“The relevant oversight Committees of the 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.