The Senate has passed the 2020 appropriation bill.
The passage was a sequel to the presentation of a report by the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jibrin.
The budget was increased from N10.33 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8 to N10.6 trillion (10,594,362,364,830).
In the report presented by Mr Jibrin, N560.47 billion is for statutory transfers (a category into which the National Assembly budget falls).
While the Senate maintained Nigeria’s daily oil production rate at 2.18 million per barrel, it, however, increased the Oil Benchmark Price to $57 per barrel against the $55 proposed by the Executive.
The committee retained the inflation rate at 10.81 per cent and the exchange rate at N305-$1 as proposed by the executive. It also retained GDP Growth Rate at 2.93 per cent as proposed.
Mr Jibrin said the committee worked harmoniously with the Executive for the processing of the bill.
The Senate passed the budget with the breakdown as follows:
Statutory transfer – N560,470,827,235
Debt service – N2,725,498,930,000
Recurrent expenditure – N4,842,974,600,640
Capital expenditure – N2,465,418,006,955
Fiscal Deficit – N2.28 trillion
Deficit/GDP – N1.52 per cent
Mr Jibrin explained that the increase allows for intervention in critical areas like security, infrastructure, mines and steel development, social development, among others.
This, he said, is in line with the budget thrust of the government “which is focused on growing development and sustainable growth.”
He also said the committee adopted the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) as approved by the National Assembly.
This is as he urged his colleagues to adopt the recommendations of the committee.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, thanked his colleagues and the Executive for the cooperation, He also admonished the Executive to ensure the full and effective implementation of the budget of the budget.
He said the ninth Senate has achieved one of its key promises to return the budget cycle to January – December.
We have done so much in a short while; we have given the Executive everything they need – budget, finance bill, MTEF, among others, he said.
Mr Lawan said the Senate will interact with Ministries, Departments and Agencies on a quarterly basis in 2020 to monitor implementation of the budget.
“We hope that with this budget passed, the Executive will ensure full implementation for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said.