Buhari presents $28.3 billion 2018 budget to National Assembly

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"Despite the down-turn in crude oil, 1.2 trillion was expended on capital project through the 2017 budget. It is really a sad moment for us".

The opposition, which cuts across political and ethno-regional boundaries in the National Assembly, anchored their protest against the budget presentation on what a lawmaker described as attempt by the executive arm of government to sabotage their political fortunes in their constituencies. What will the President count as his legacy in terms of budget implementation?

"We had hoped that all these would be corrected in the 2017 budget but no". The questions that must be answered include whether we have effectively enforced 2017 fiscal targets and whether managers have complied with the budget as authorized by the legislature.

However, it was learnt that leaders of both the Senate and the House of Representatives were making last minute efforts to prevent drama during the presentation.

Earlier, Senate President Bukola Saraki, in his address, said the presentation of the budget earlier than December "is a welcome development", pledging early passage of the budget.

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja presented N8.612 trillion as the 2018 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly, saying the projected expenditure will drive rapid economic recovery.

The president also said whistle-blowers are still welcomed.

According to him, based on the total federally-collectible revenue estimated at N11.983 trillion in 2018, the three tiers of government shall receive 12 per cent more revenues than the 2017 estimates.

He said at the session that with a benchmark of 45 dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.

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