NASS passes 2020 budget

The Senate, Thursday, at plenary, passed the N10.594 trillion budget for 2020 as against N10.33 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Oct. 8, 2019.

The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations had Wednesday presented its report on the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the house for consideration.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Muktar Betara, (APC-Borno) presented the Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation during plenary presided over by Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.

However, instead of the ₦10.33 trillion budget presented on Oct. 8 by President Buhari before a joint session of the National Assembly, report  reflected the total sum of N10,594,362,364,830, indicating a change in the estimates of ₦10.33 trillion earlier presented.

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The Senate followed the same path as was reflected in a report of its report of the Appropriation Committee presented at the plenary.

Committee Chairman, Sen. Barau Jibril(APC-Kano), said the committee adopted the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) as approved by the National Assembly.

He said the committee worked harmoniously with the Executive in processing the bill especially in additional revenue projection to fund critical projects.

He said the increase in the budget was to allow for interventions in areas like national security, road infrastructure, mines and steel development, health, social needs among others.

Following clause-by clause consideration of the report, at the Committee of the Whole, the Senate having resolved back to plenary passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill.

The breakdown of the budget is, Aggregate Expenditure, N10.594 trillion, Statutory transfers, N560 billion, Debt service, N2.725 trillion, Recurrent Expenditure, N4.842 trillion, Capital Expenditure, N2.465 trillion, Fiscal Deficit, N2.28 trillion and Deficit/GDP 1.52 per cent.

The lawmakers adopted a daily crude production rate of 2.18 million barrels, as proposed by the executive.

It, however, adopted 57 dollars oil benchmark as against the executive proposal of 55 dollars.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, thanked his colleagues for their efforts on the budget, saying the success recorded was in conjunction with the House of Representatives.

He said the National Assembly has provided the executive what it needed to implement the budget.

Lawan expressed hope that the implementation of the budget would be faster, noting that the National Assembly would do well in its oversight functions.

He said the National Assembly would ensure that Nigerians get what they desired from government.

The senate, thereafter, adjourned plenary till Tuesday, Oct. 10.

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