Finally, Senate passes 2018 budget
The Nigerian Senate, on Wednesday, passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill, six months after its presentation.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had at the joint session of the National Assembly, presented a proposed budget of eight trillion, six hundred and twelve billion, two hundred and thirty-six million, nine hundred and fifty-three thousand, two hundred and fourteen Naira (N8,612, 236,953,214) to the lawmakers.
Several officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies have come to defend their 2018 appropriation bill.
The defence had been characterized with criticisms from the red chamber who lamented that some government officials failed to show up and those who came refused to return when told to make corrections.
On the 23rd of March, the upper legislative chamber instructed its standing committees to turn-in their reports on the appropriation bill.
Since then, the National Assembly had made promises in passing the budget but failed to meet up such deadlines.
However, the Senate has now passed a budget that was inflated by five hundred billion Naira (N500bn).
The Senate passed the budget of nine trillion, one hundred and twenty billion, three hundred and thirty-four million, nine hundred and eighty-eight thousand, two hundred and twenty five Naira (N9,120,334,988,225).
Whereas, President Buhari proposed the sum of two trillion four hundred and twenty eight billion naira (N2.428tr) as the capital budget, while the sum of three trillion four hundred and ninety four billion naira (N3.494tr) was proposed for recurrent expenditure.
The President also proposed the sum of two hundred and twenty billion Naira (N220bn) as sinking fund and four hundred and fifty-six billion Naira (N456bn) as statutory transfers.
But in the passed budget, the lawmakers jacked the capital budget to two trillion, eight hundred and sixty-nine billion, six hundred million, three hundred and fifty-one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-five naira (N2,869,600,351,825), a differential of over N400bn.
The lawmakers also passed the sum of three trillion, five hundred and sixteen billion, four hundred and twenty-seven million, nine hundred and two thousand, seventy-seven Naira (N3,516,477,902,077) for recurrent expenditure in the 2018 budget. This translates to a differential of N22bn.
The sum of one hundred and ninety billion naira only (N190bn) is enmarked for sinking fund for maturing loans while the statutory transfer has the sum of five hundred and thirty billion, four hundred and twenty-one million three hundred and sixty-eight thousand, six hundred and twenty-four naira (N530,421,368,624).
In the same vein, the lawmakers proposed the sum of two trillion, two hundred and three billion, eight hundred and thirty-four million, three hundred and sixty-five thousand, six hundred and ninety-nine naira (N2,203,835,365,699) for the services of both local and foreign debts.