National Assembly approves 2012 budget

The president has to sign the sign the appropriation law before it becomes operational

The National Assembly on Thursday approved the 2012 budget, for the first time leaving  its allocation untouched as proposed by the executive, but increasing the presidency’s funding already considered huge by about N1 billion.

The presidency’s budget grew from N40.08 billion to N41.04 billion. The office, besides the state house, which consists of the president’s and the vice president’s offices and homes, has other agencies attached to it.

The establishment took the headlines after the budget was presented in December 2011, with reports of its huge allocations for feeding and cars, in addition to guest houses for the president and the vice.

President Goodluck Jonathan has proposed a N101 billion reduction to the budget, ahead of the passage by the lawmakers.

But in the details approved yesterday, the total spending for the year has been raised from N4.648 trillion to N4.88 trillion, the highest federal budget figure yet.

 The national Assembly for the first time, left its allocation of N150 billion as proposed by the executive and detailed additions to some other offices including Agriculture and Rural Development, and Niger Delta ministry.

Capital spending will be N1.5 trillion, while the recurrent will be N2.4 trillion.

The figures were harmonized by both arms of the National Assembly and will need no further work, their spokespersons said.

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