Senate increases, passes 2019 budget

Nigerian senate chambers where senators attend plenary
Nigerian senate chambers

The Senate has passed the 2019 appropriation bill.

The passage follows the presentation of a report by the chairman senate committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje.

The budget was increased from N8.83 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to N8.916 trillion.

Mr Goje said the need to provide for the severance benefits of outgoing lawmakers, their aides, provision for the National Assembly orientation programme, election, and others accounted for the about N86 billion increase.

“There is also the need to provide more fund for the security and intelligence agencies to deal with additional, emerging, unforeseen challenges in the country,” he said.

He said all of these were not captured in the 2019 budget submitted by the president.

The breakdown

The Senate passed the budget with the breakdown as follows:

Statutory transfer – N502.58 .billion

Debt service – N2.25 trillion

Recurrent expenditure – N4.65 trillion

Capital expenditure – N2.94 trillion

In an additional recommendation, the Senate approved a N10 billion fund to be drawn from service-wide votes to assist victims of Zamfara crisis.

The Senate had, in one of its plenaries, approved the special fund.

The lawmakers adopted the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) earlier presented.

A daily production rate of 2.3 million barrels, at $60 per barrel was also adopted, as suggested by the executive.

The Senate immediately communicated changes made to the budget to the House of Representatives, to ensure there is no conference committee which could further stall the passage.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, thanked his colleagues and charged the executive on 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.

The Senate, thereafter, adjourned for an hour to allow the secretariat to make available votes and proceedings of the day to allow speedy transmission of the bill to the president.

The N8.83 trillion budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly by Mr Buhari on December 19, 2018.

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