Tuesday, January 24, 2017 6:36 pm
The House of Representatives on Tuesday began debate on the general principles of the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N7.298 trillion submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Leading the debate on the bill, the Majority leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that the 2017 budget was designed to expand public private partnership and complete ongoing infrastructural projects that will impact positively on the economy.
Gbajabiamila also expressed confidence that the budget will help reboot the economy with its massive capital injection and payment of local debts to contractors.
However, he stressed the need for the House to revisit the Steve Oronsanye and Ahmed Joda Reports on the proposed merger of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to reduce cost of governance and free up money for capital expenditure.
Gbajabiamila also called for more funds to be injected into the tourism sector to help in the diversification of the economy.
In his contribution, Rep. Mark Gbila (APC-Bernue), advocated for a review of the country’s monetary policy to fast track economic recovery.
Also speaking, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, expressed optimism that the Oil Production quota pegged at 2.2 million barrels per day in the 2017 budget was achievable.
However, Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta), faulted the N305 to a dollar that the budget was predicated on, saying it is unrealistic due to exchange rate volatility.
The debate on the 2017 Budget continues on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the House had last week approved the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), thereby paving way for the consideration of the 2017 budget.
The House had adopted an Exchange Rate of N305 to 1 dollar crude oil benchmark of 44.5 dollars per barrel and the pegging of crude oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day for the 2017 budget. (NAN)