Senate okays N3.6trn fuel subsidy for 2023 budget


By Ismail Auwal

The Senate on Wednesday rejected the Joint Committees on Finance and National Planning and Economic Affairs’ recommendation to reduce the oil subsidy budget from N3.6 trillion to N1.7 trillion in 2023.

In the 2023–2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier proposed N3.6 trillion as a subsidy for Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) for January–June of the following year.

However, the Senate Joint Committees that worked on the fiscal paper suggested capping the cost of fuel subsidies at N1.7 trillion in 2023.

The Senate in its recommendations approved an increase in the oil benchmark to $73 per barrel and a daily oil production of 1.83 million barrels per day.

It also okayed Exchange Rate of N437.57/US$1 and the projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.75%; as well as 17.16% inflation rate.

The Red Chamber also gave its nod to fiscal deficit of N11.3trn, projected revenue of N9.352trn and new borrowings of N8.437 trillion (including foreign and domestic borrowing), subject to the provision of details of the borrowing plan to the National Assembly.

Other parameters approved by the Senate are Statutory transfers totaling N722.11 billion; Debt Service estimate of N6.31trn; Sinking Fund to the tune of N247.7bn; Pension, Gratuities and Retirees Benefits of N827.8bn.

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