ABUJA – The House of Representatives yesterday constituted a special committee to meet with the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala over the sliding oil price at the international market.
The 2015 budget of the federal government was yet to be passed by the National Assembly owing to the challenges associated with the changing oil prices.
But at the end of three hours closed-door meeting yesterday, the House resolved to set up the committee that would iron out the grey areas about the budget, together with the Finance Minister as well as the Budget Office.
The committee, to be headed by the House’s appropriation committee chairman, Rep John Enoh (PDP, Cross Rivers) also has finance committee chairman, Abdulmumini Jibril (APC, Kano as member.
Other members are Rep Yinka Ajayi, Rep Bimbo Daramola, Rep Jerry Manwe, Rep Linus Okorie, Rep Ibrahim Babangida and Rep Yakub Dogara
Others include Rep Tajudeen Yusuf, Rep Nnenna Ukeje, Rep Pat Asadu, Rep Nicholas Ossain Rep Babatunde Adajare, Rep Seconte Davis, Rep Isa Gusau, Rep Abubakar Momoh and Dan Akpan.
Okonjo-Iweala had on December 17 presented a slashed estimate of N4.357 trillion from the earlier proposed N4.661 trillion in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), when oil price was pegged at $73 per barrel.
A revised MTEF was however sent to the lawmakers a day before the presentation of the budget, which pegged the oil price at $65. per barrel.
Presently, the international crude price stands a little above $52 per barrel, representing a difference of $13 in the pegged oil price as contained in the MTEF.
The 2015-2017 MTEF was not passed by the lawmakers before they received the budget proposal, against the traditional passage of the benchmark well before the presentation of annual budgets.
Although there was no timeline given to the committee upon which they would submit their report, it will be recall that similar order was given to the appropriation and finance committees to meet the finance minister, when the budget scaled through the second reading.

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