By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The House of Representatives has said the federal government can borrow up to 8.437 billion naira from local and foreign sources to fund the 2023 budget.

Parliament approved these and others on Thursday during its deliberations on the 2023-2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

Its Finance Committee, which has reviewed documents from the executive branch of government, submitted them to the plenary yesterday.

The House expressed concern that the Federal Government did not explain how it planned to borrow around N9.32 trillion during the financial year.

Ultimately, the Green House of the National Assembly reduced new borrowing to N8.437 billion, “subject to the approval of the provision of details of the borrowing plan by the National Assembly.”

He, however, advised the government to reduce the proposed large tax exemption for businesses, saying it would increase the budget deficit.

“The high tax exemptions and exemptions for legal entities have contributed significantly to the current budget deficit,” lawmakers said during the plenary chaired by Deputy Speaker Mr. Ahmed Idris Wase.

Additionally, the House approved daily crude oil production of 1.69 million barrels per day for next year, 1.83 mbd for 2024 and 1.83 mbd for 2025, with the crude oil benchmark set at 73 dollars per barrel due to the continuous increase in the price of oil in the world oil market and other special situations such as the continuous invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

In addition, the representatives approved the exchange rate of N437.57/$1 in the MTEF/FSP, with continued engagement between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in in order to bridge the gap between the official market and the parallel market.

In addition, lawmakers approved the projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.75% for next year and inflation rate of 17.16%.

The cost of the oil subsidy was capped at 1.7 trillion naira, while the budget deficit of 11.3 trillion naira was reduced to 10.563 trillion naira out of the 737.31 billion naira saved from the subsidy .

A few days ago, Business post reported that President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the budget forecast for 2023 during a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.