The Senate on Wednesday passed the nation’s budget for the 2022 financial year after increasing the initial estimates by over N700 billion.
This comes 24 hours after their counterparts at the House of Representatives passed the budget.
The budget was increased from N16.4 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in October to N17.12 trillion. This shows an increase of over N700 billion.
The lawmakers increased the Oil Benchmark Price from $57 to $62 “to reflect the current market values of the oil barrel in the international market.”
Nigeria’s daily oil production rate was pegged at 1.86 million per barrel.
The budget was passed after the Senate considered and adopted the recommendations of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriation – presented by the chairman, Barau Jibrin (APC Kano).
In his presentation, the lawmaker recommended that N869.6 billion be approved for Statutory Transfers (a category into which the National Assembly budget falls).
He also informed the Senate that the deficit was increased by N98 billion ”to accommodate some other requests of national importance not provided for in the budget estimates and which could not be covered by the revenue increase”.
The Senate passed the budget with the breakdown as follows:
Statutory transfer – N869,667,187,542
Debt service – N3,879,952,981,550
Recurrent (non-debt) expenditure – N6,909,849,788,737
Capital expenditure – N5,467,403,959,863
Mr Jibrin also explained that the committee observed the need for stimulation of the economy through increased capital expenditure, ”which will make for infrastructural development, in order to meet the yearnings of the people”.
“There was an increase in revenue to Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and independent revenue of the MDAs by N400 billion as a result of the independent report received from the investigation carried out on all government agencies by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) and the various committees of the National Assembly, in their oversight roles.
“We recommend that the additional revenue increase be allocated to the agencies that came forward with additional financial report which was not provided for in the budget.
“These agencies include Works and Housing, INEC (for 2023 General Elections), Defence, National Population Commission (NPC) – for 2022 Population Census, Agriculture and Rural Development, National Security Adviser (NSA), National Assembly (Constituency Outreach) Education, Humanitarian, Water Resources…given that the requests will take care of critical infrastructural deficit for purposes of nation’s development improvement and acceleration.”
Afterwards, the Senate dissolved into the Committee of Supply, then considered and passed the budget.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, commended his colleagues for restoring the budget cycle back to January to December.
He also commended them for their cooperation in passing the Petroleum Industry Act and the Electoral Amendment Bill.
“We passed the electoral bill but we know there are some reservations, so we will look at it with the House of Representatives. I am sure that this Senate and the National Assembly has done a lot in legislative intervention.
“I want to commend Nigerians, we take your advice. This National Assembly is for all Nigerians,” he said.
Mr Buhari presented the 2022 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly on 7 October.
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