The Senate on Tuesday passed the 2015 federal Aappropriation Act sent to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.
The passage of the N4.49 trillion appropriation confirmed a similar action by the House of Representatives on Thursday.
In passing the fiscal appropriation last Thursday, the Reps had raised the final figure by N134.5 billion, from the N4.357trillion sent by Mr. Jonathan to the National Assembly.
The Reps raised the allocation of some key agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission, from N45.78 billion to N46.72billion; Universal Basic Education’s from N67.3 billion to N68.38 billion, while the budget of the National Assembly was increased from N115 billion to N120 billion.
The allocation to the Public Complaints Commission was raised from N2 billion to N4 billion and the National Human Rights Commission from N1.2billion to N1.51billion.
However, in passing the appropriation bill, the Senate said the crude oil benchmark was projected at $53 per barrel, and the exchange rate of N190 to the dollar.
The passage of the budget followed the presentation of the report of the Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance by Ahmed Maccido, representing North West (Sokoto).
After the passage of the bill, the Senate President, David Mark, urged the executive arm of the government to ensure full implementation of the budget.
Mr. Mark blamed the brief delay in passing the bill on the 2015 general elections, which he said paralysed activities in virtually all sectors of the country economy.
Mr. Mark spoke of the impact of the fall in global oil prices at the international market, which dropped from a high of $100 per barrel in August to less than $45 before the end of 2014.
The significant drop in crude oil revenue also negatively impacted Nigeria’s economy and the external reserves, which crashed from about $38 billion in September to less than $30 billion by the end of March.
The fluctuation in the exchange rate of the naira, from N168 to the dollar in August and N230 to the dollar prior to the March 28, 2015 general elections, also affected the process to pass the budget, as the benchmarks had to be reviewed by the lawmakers.
The Senate Plenary was adjourned till May 5.
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