Abuja - The 2016 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday may re-enact a fresh round of bickering between the National Assembly and the Presidency, reports Punch.
The fresh bickering is over the $38 oil benchmark for the budget.
Buhari had during the presentation defended the $38 oil benchmark, saying all assumptions were taken into consideration by economic experts before arriving at it.
While the members of the Senate are on the same page with Buhari, members of the House of Representatives are pushing for a downward review of the benchmark following the prediction of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the oil price would fall below $20.
Both chambers had previously approved $38 per barrel, which was proposed by the executive as oil benchmark in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (2016-2018).
Also read: Fani- Kayode blasts Buhari over 2016 budget
But in a new twist, members of the House are unlikely to continue to stick to the $38 proposed as the crude oil benchmark for the 2016 budget.
They noted that when the President brought the MTEF, the benchmark was pegged at $38 but it is now $35, far below the benchmark.
They added that all assumptions on the 2016 budget have changed
The stated that the Presidenti himself admitted while presenting the budget estimates on Tuesday that a barrel of crude was $32, a figure that was $6 below the budgeted $38.
Members of the key committees of the House on Finance, Appropriations, Aids /Loans/ Debt Management that would work on the budget in January, were already exchanging ideas on realistic oil benchmark.
Read more at Punch.
- News 24