Budget: Reps raise Buhari's N8.6trn to N9.1trn

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NASS Increases 2018 Budget To N9.1tr Economy By Ifeanyi Omokwe On

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, laid the report before the Senate at the plenary on Tuesday.

Similarly, the development fund for capital expenditure was raised to N2.869tn from the N2.652tn proposed by the President on November 7.

Goje, while presenting the report, confirmed the increment in the budget and attributed the budget increase to the $6 per barrel increase in the benchmark for oil price which was done by the National Assembly Appropriations Committee, he further stated that the money was applied to some "critical areas" including Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

In the final breakdown, the senate passed a 2018 budget of N9, 120, 334, 988, 225 of which N530, 421, 368, 624 is for statutory transfers as against N456, 458, 654, 074 proposed by the executive.

He said at a total expenditure estimate of N8.612 trillion, the deficit amounted to 1.77 per cent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, GDP, a 17.3 percentage point drop from 2.14 per cent deficit to GDP stated in 2017 budget.

The national assembly has passed the 2018 budget after a six-month delay.

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The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, called for the implementation of the budget as that is the only way Nigerians could feel the impact of the passage.

In 2017, the senate increased the budget by 1.9 percent to N7.4 trillion from the N7.2 trillion submitted by the executive.

N2, 203, 835, 365, 699 was budgeted for debt service as proposed while N190, 000, 000, 000 was budgeted for sinking fund for maturing loans. In the last nineteen years of democracy, budgets have always been delayed.

Specifically, the Senate on February 14 this year, read the riot act to heads of the agencies who had not appeared then.

" I think it is very clear that the mandate we give to them is one week".

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, had met with the President at the Presidential Villa to, among others, deliberate on the thorny aspects of the budget.

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