Senate approves $53 oil benchmark

Nigeria's Senate Chamber, otherwise known as the Red Chamber

The Nigerian Senate on Thursday approved an oil price benchmark of $53 per barrel.

This was revealed during the presentation of the Committee on Finance report which led to the passage of the harmonised version of the 2015-2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Chairman of the committee, Ahmed Makarfi, presented the report, stating that the conference committee agreed a benchmark of $53 per barrel.

The House of Representatives approved a benchmark at $54.

“On the exchange rate, the conference committee adopted the Senate version which has N190 exchange rate to the dollar,” Mr. Markafi said. “The conference committee agreed to recommend a benchmark of $53 per barrel. Item three is on statutory transfer, the conference committee adopted the house version which reduced the statutory transfer from $ 411.85 billion to $368 billion.”

The Senate President, David Mark, expressed his dissatisfaction with the committee using a different figure from both the House and the Senate.

“The two conference teams have no right to do that, you either take one or the other,” Mr. Mark said. “You either take the House version or the Senate version, you cannot set a new one; no you can’t. It is okay, we let this one go.”

Meanwhile, the Senate also received the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
The joint committee was said to have been involved in bribery by collecting N3billion while investigating the misappropriation of funds by the Pension Reform Task Team.

The senate also received report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Bill 2015.

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