Six Months After, Senate Finally Passes 2018 Budget

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This is part of the recommendations of the Committee of Appropriations in its reports submitted by Senator Danjuma Goje.

Shehu Sani, Senator representing Kaduna Central at the National Assembly, has revealed why the National Assembly made a decision to add N500 billion to the 2018 Appropriation Bill.

The House of Representatives also passed the 2018 budget with a recurrent expenditure of 3,512,677,902,077 and capital expenditure of 2,873,400,351,825.

The original budget spending plan was N8.6 trillion.

From about $50 per barrel in November 2017 when Buhari laid the budget estimates, lawmakers noted that the crude oil price had jumped to around $80.

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It will be recalled that at a meeting between the President and leaders of the National Assembly Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Rt.Hon Yakubu Dogara, there was assurance that the budget will be passed this week.

The Chairman of the committee, Sen.

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The Senate's decision to increase the budget by over N500 billion was as a result of the increase in oil benchmark from $45 per barrel to $51 per barrel.

Another n106.50 billion is to be applied as intervention in the power, works and housing sector while education particularly for infrastructure for 12 newly established universities and meal subsidy in unity schools.

A breakdown of the proposal shows that the sum of N530 billion was earmarked for Statutory Transfer; N2.2 trillion for Debt Service; N199 billion for Sinking Fund for maturing loans; N3.5trillion for Recurrent (non- debt) Expenditure, while N2.9 trillion for development fund for Capital Expenditure.

In his remark, Senator Lane Tejuoso, expressed delight over the consideration of the Senate to implement the National Health Act.

Mustapha Dawaki (APC, Kano), also laid the report.

Reacting in a statement on Wednesday, Sani said the increment followed "close consultations and agreement between the National Assembly led by the Approriation committee and the Executive".

The budget will have a Fiscal Deficit of N1,954,464,993,775 and a Deficit-to-GDP is put at -1.73 per cent.

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