The President’s liaison officer to the National Assembly, Senator Ita Enang confirmed that he received the budget from the legislature on Friday and that the consideration of the budget by the President would follow.
Senate President Bukola Saraki had told State House correspondents on Thursday that the budget, which was passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday, last week, would be forwarded to the president Friday.
Dr Saraki, who led members of the legislature to the break the day’s fast with President Buhari, had explained that the delay in transmitting the Appropriation Bill to the executive was because both houses of the National Assembly were harmonising their versions.
President Muhammadu Buhari had presented a budget proposal of N8.612 trillion to the lawmakers on November 17, 2017.
While presenting the proposal, President Buhari had informed the lawmakers that “the 2018 budget will consolidate on the achievements of the previous budget and that 2018 is expected to be a year of better outcomes”.
The Presidency at the time had hoped the 2018 Appropriation Bill would be passed in December, but it took months for that to happen with the lawmakers accusing ministries, departments, and agencies of frustrating the passage by failing to submit the breakdowns of their budget proposals.
The back and forth between both arms of government over the budget meant that the attempt to quickly pass it failed as has been the case in recent years and it wasn’t until May 16, one day shy of six months of the budget presentation that it was passed.
In passing the Appropriation Bill, the lawmakers increased the oil price benchmark from $45 to $51. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, explained that the benchmark was increased after consultations with the executive.
The lawmakers also added N508 billion to the proposed expenditure, bringing the total amount passed to N9,120 trillion as against the N8.612 trillion the President proposed.