Buhari relays, seeks passage of anti-money laundering, terrorism bills
The House of Representatives, yesterday, approved payment of N4 trillion as subsidy for Petroleum Motor Spirit (popularly known as petrol).
The resolution was consequent upon President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for revision of the 2022 Fiscal Framework at plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase.
The lower legislative chamber equally sanctioned the oil price benchmark of $73 per barrel and production volume of 1.6 million per day.
Also approved is the cut in federally funded upstream projects by N200 billion and increase in projected Federal Government revenue by N400 billion.
The lawmakers further okayed N182.45 billion to cater for the needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Other approvals include domestic debt servicing of N76.13 billion and net reductions in statutory transfers to the tune of N66.07 billion, besides okaying of the fiscal deficit of N7.35 trillion for the year.
BESIDES, the passage got the concurrence of the Senate after the consideration of report of its Committee on Finance, headed by Senator Olamilekan Adeola.
This is even as Senate President Ahmad Lawan urged the Federal Government to halt crude oil theft and importation of refined petroleum products to beat down expenditure.
The committee chairman, Adeola, had in his presentation, submitted that the total budget deficit “is projected to increase by N965.42 billion to N7.35 trillion, representing 3.99 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Consequently, the Red Chamber raised a 13-member Adhoc Committee, headed by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, to investigate oil theft in the country and its impact on petroleum production and oil revenues.
Other members include Senators Yusuf A. Yusuf, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Kabiru Gaya Muhammad Adamu Aliero, George Thompson Sekibo and Gabriel Suswam.
The rest are Senators Kashim Shettima, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Ali Ndume, Stella Oduah, Sani Musa and Ibrahim Gobir.
The panel was given one month to conclude work and report back to the chamber. By implication, the upper legislative chamber, sanctioned a N17.3 trillion 2022 revised budget and raised recurrent expenditure by N198.77 billion. It also increased the National Assembly vote to N153 billion and retained the capital expenditure component of the budget.
The amount represents an increase of N192.5 billion from the N17.1 trillion approved and assented to last December.
The passage came after the consideration of a report by the Appropriations Committee on the 2022 Appropriations Bill in both chambers.
Of the N17.3 trillion passed, N817.6 billion is for statutory transfer; N7.1 trillion for recurrent expenditure; capital expenditure remains at N5.4 trillion, while N3.97 goes for debt servicing.
IN another development, the Nigerian leader transmitted the Money Laundering Bill and Terrorism Prevention Bill to the upper legislative chamber for expeditious consideration and passage.
In a letter dated April 12, 2022, Buhari said the request was pursuant to Section 58 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended.)
He explained that the deficiencies in the nation’s anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism regime (AML/CFT) make it imperative for the passage of both bills.
The President warned that the non-passage of both bills poses a risk that might lead to the eventual blacklisting of Nigeria by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).