Why NASS Added N500bn To 2018 Budget - Senator

Posted May 17, 2018

Buhari presented a N8.612 trillion budget proposal for 2018 fiscal year before the joint session of the National Assembly on November 7, 2017.

"Higher revenue on the back of the higher-than-expected oil price, may partly explain the lawmakers' proposal for a bigger budget", said Yvonne Mhango, a Johannesburg-based economist at Renaissance Capital. He expressed belieft that the budget, when passed, would be a budget of progress.

He asked members to pick copies of the report as early as 8am and read it, preparatory to the consideration and passage of the budget.

"We are going to try and mitigate that impact as much as possible and focus on completing projects", she said, adding that the fact that the 2017 budget cycle began late in the year had helped a great deal.

The budget of the National Assembly was increased from N125bn to N139.5bn under statutory transfers.

" In the area that we could not address, which is the issue of fuel subsidy, I want to make an appeal again that the Executive needs to look into this for the interest of transparency where an expenditure close to over N1 trillion must be captured in the budget", he said. But in the new report, it was raised to N3.516tn.

N3, 512, 677, 902, 077 was earmarked for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure with a slight increment from N3, 494, 277, 820, 219 proposed and N2, 873, 400, 351, 825 was budgeted for capital expenditure as against N2, 427, 665, 113, 222.

Debt servicing provision rose to N2.203tn from N2.014tn.

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).

The exchange rate of N305 to a dollar and production of 2.3 million barrels of oil per day was adopted as proposed by the executive.

"Whatever has been done is in full consultation and the Senate needs to tell Nigerians why the budget was increased", he said.