Ahead of presentation of the 2014 budget presentation by President Goodluck Jonathan this month, the Joint National Assembly committee on Finance and Appropriations has increased the crude oil bench mark for the 2014 budget from $74 per barrel to $76.5, Daily Trust gathered in Abuja yesterday.

President Goodluck Jonathan had in September forward the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the legislators in which he proposed an oil bench mark of $74 per barrel.

However, the Joint committee which submitted its report to the two chambers yesterday recommended an increase of $2.5 above the executive proposal according to a source who is privy to the report.

The issue of oil bench mark has been the major cause of executive-legislature rift over the years raising the prospect of another round of power tussle over the decision by the parliament to jerk up the bench mark.

The president has requested that he be allowed to present the 2014 appropriation bill before the Joint session of the National Assembly on November 11.

In the executive proposal, the daily crude oil production by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for 2014 is pegged at 2.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) which is lower than the 2013 figure of 2.5 mbpd, while the exchange rate between the United States’ dollar and the Naira remain steady at N160 to $1.

Jonathan is expected to propose N1.45 trillion for capital expenditure, representing 30 percent, while the remaining will go for recurrent and overhead expenses.

MPs had expressed serious reservations on the proposal describing it as empty.


Information from Daily Trust was used in this report.