Reps Set Up 5-man MTEF Conference Committee For Budget

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Teddy Oscar, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Wednesday moved to resolve the 2014 Budget row between it and President Goodluck Jonathan by naming a five-member conference
committee that would work with the Senate to harmonise the oil benchmark price for the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Headed by Hon. Abdulmumin Jubrin, chairman, Committee on Finance, the conference committee will also include Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi, chairman, Committee on Loans and Debts, Hon. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, Hon. Abdurrahman Terraf and Hon. Forte Dike.

It would be recalled that Jonathan had shelved his presentation of the 2014 Budget, citing the difference between the two chambers’ adoption of the oil benchmark.

While the House had adopted $79 as its
benchmark for oil price, the Senate approved $76.5.

As a result, Jonathan said that he would only do the budget presentation, if there is a consensus between the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly.

“Wereas the Senate has approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework
(MTEF) based on the benchmark of $76.5 per barrel, the honourable House of
Representatives has used a benchmark of $79 per barrel, it is infeasible for me to present the budget in absence of harmonized position on MTEF.

“In the circumstance, it has become necessary to defer the presentation of the 2014 Budget to a joint session of the National Assembly until such a time when both respective chambers would have harmonized their position on MTEF. It is my hope that this will be in the shortest possible time,” Jonathan said in a letter he sent to the speaker, Rt. Hon. Amimu Waziri Tambuwal.

In a different development, President Goodluck Jonathan has condoned with the House of Representatives over the death
of one of its members,  Hon. Rafael Nomiye.

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