Nigerian Senate has today passed the 2019 appropriation bill following the presentation of a report by the chairman of the Senate committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje.
The budget was increased from N8.83 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to N8.916 trillion by the house as a result of the need to provide for severance benefits of outgoing lawmakers, their aides, provision for the assembly orientation programme, principal offices’ election and other which amount to about N86 billion increase.
Although, the N8.83 trillion budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 19, 2018.
He claimed the increase was as a result of making sure that the aforementioned are taken care of.
The Senate passed the budget with the breakdown as
Statutory transfer – N502.58 billion
Debt service – N2.25 trillion
Recurrent expenditure – N4.65 trillion
Capital expenditure – N2.94 trillion
In a plausible recommendation, the Senate approved a N10 billion fund to be drawn from service-wide votes to assist victims of Zamfara crisis. This special fund has been debated and approved in one of the recent plenaries.
The Senate immediately communicated changes made to the budget to the House of Representatives, to ensure there is no conference committee which could further stall the passage.
The lawmakers maintained the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) earlier presented by the president.
A daily production rate of 2.3 million barrels, at $60 per barrel was also adopted, as suggested by the executive.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, thanked his colleagues and charged the executive on the implementation of the budget.
“We hope that with this budget passed, the executive will ensure full implementation for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said.
The Senate, thereafter, adjourned for an hour to allow the secretariat to make available votes and proceedings of the day to allow speedy transmission of the bill to the president.