UPDATED: Buhari presents N8.6 trillion 2018 budget to National Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari (L) in a handshake with Senate President Bukola Saraki during the Presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill before the Joint Session of the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday (7/11/17). With them is the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. 05940//7/11/2017/Callistus Ewelike/BJO/NAN
President Muhammadu Buhari (L) in a handshake with Senate President Bukola Saraki during the Presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill before the Joint Session of the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday (7/11/17). With them is the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. 05940//7/11/2017/Callistus Ewelike/BJO/NAN

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja presented about N8.612 trillion as the 2018 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly, saying the projected expenditure will drive rapid economic recovery.

He said at the session that with a benchmark of 45 dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.

“With the economic recovery made so far, it is clear that we made the right decisions.

“And I urge you all to support the Federal Government’s policies towards economic recovery,’’ he said.

Mr. Buhari said the government would continue to develop infrastructure and increase investments in agriculture to attain food security and reduce importation.

He added that while the Federal Government was committed to identifying alternative means of funding new projects, there was need to continue to pursue public private partnership, to provide more infrastructure in the country.

According to him, the Federal Government has been able to construct or rehabilitate about 776-kilometer roads in 2017.

The president said the construction of Abuja metroline had attained 98 per cent completion, adding that work had commenced on the Ajaouta-Itakpe rail line which was abandoned for 17 years.

He said the project would be delivered in September 2018, adding that the country’s power sector would witness a turn around.

“The power sector reform is still working in progress as we have increased power generation but we still have some challenges in transmission and distribution network,’’ Buhari said.

He added that the Federal Government was committed to green alternative energy. (NAN)

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