senateABUJA – Senate of the Federal Republic resumed from its three-week break yesterday, passed the national budget for the 2015 fiscal year and adjourned for four weeks.
The red chamber which is to resume on February 17, will consider the expected report on the Budget by its joint committees on finance and appropriation for third reading accordingly.
The long holiday would afford some political party nominees among the federal lawmakers the opportunity to campaign and contest the February 14 elections for possible return to the National Assembly in its 8th session.
Senators took their turn to knock the clauses particularly the revenue profile, which they described as over bloated and unrealistic.  They also chorused that non-oil revenue sources in the budget were inadequate.
They therefore called for serious reworking of the Budget, to meet with current global economic realities, particularly as they affect Nigeria.
Referring the Budget to the relevant Committees of the house for further necessary legislative action, presiding Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu noted: “this is a real wake-up call to our country as we face economic recession and downward trend of oil revenues”.
“This is the time for us as a parliament to ensure that while considering this, all existing revenue items are captured in the budget to have a pool of resources that will help us implement the budget when passed.
‘Government must also put on their thinking cap to develop new areas of revenue generation to help us to drive our economy. We have gone through this before and eventually the oil price improved.
Within those period,we did not learn any lesson but I hope this time we will learn the lesson that will help us to be disciplined in our fiscal management; this is a time for us to also think seriously about our fiscal alliance. Everybody must be ready, including politicians to make sacrifices”, the DSP continued.
He however urged Nigeria to draw example from Norway, which is also an oil producing nation but does not predicate its budget on oil neither does it depend on oil for annual expenditure.
Moreso, Sen. Ekweremadu charged politicians seeking electoral positions to spend their funds wisely, stressing that they might not recover their funds  after the elections in view of the precarious economic situation.
Earlier in his lead debate, Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba noted that the 2015 Budget is a framework that will consolidate and add impetus to the transformation agenda of the present administration and that it will promote economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction and service delivery to all Nigerians.
“I Believe that all the proposals in this budget are laudable and are tailored to meet the critical needs of this country at this point of our democratic evolution and to deliver on the dividends of democracy especially this election year”, he urged the lawmakers.
The N4.3 trillion Budget estimate as submitted to the NASS by the executive is based on $65 per barrel of crude with a projected production of 2.2782 million barrels per day and an average exchange rate of N160 to the US Dollar.
However current market trend has altered all that, as the cost price per barrel of crude oil has fallen bellow US$50, while current exchange rate for the US Dollar is N185.