OrderPaperToday – Senators Wednesday took divergent positions on the $38 per barrel of oil proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2016 budget.

While some called for an increase in the benchmark others canvassed a downward review and yet others prayed the senate to leave it as proposed by the Executive.

The disagreements occurred on Wednesday during debate of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) sent to the senate by the presidency.

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The MTEF on which the 2016 budget will be based proposes a benchmark of $38 per barrel for crude oil; 2.2 million barrels per day production outlook; and an exchange rate of N137 to a dollar.

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, had suggested a $40/barrel benchmark, citing prevailing economic circumstances.

He was countered by Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi) who  insisted that the benchmark be reduced to $35 per barrel.

In his remark, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki referred the matter to its Committee on Finance for further legislative action.

He stated that the senate will commence debate on the six trillion two thousand and sixteen budget after considering the report of the Finance Committee on MTEF.

The Committee is expected to brief the senate next week.

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