Senate increases 2018 budget to N9.12 trn


By Enechojo N.Ekpa, Abuja

The Senate on Tuesday received report of the Committee on Appropriation on the 2018 Budget  estimates and   equally increasing the 2018 budget to N9.12 trillion.

Breakdown of the budget laid before both chambers shows that the sum of N530.42 billion is for statutory transfer; N2.2 trillion is for debt service; N199 billion is for sinking fund for maturing loams; N3.5 trillion is for recurrent (non debt) expenditure while N2.87 trillion is for development fund for capital expenditure.

The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Danjuma Goje, laid the report before the senate in plenary , six months after it was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Senate and House of Representatives had promised to pass the budget on April 24 but failed to do so.

There were equally assurances that the budget would be passed in the first week of May but it was not passed.

The Senate had on several occasions accused Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) of not keeping to appointments with the various standing committees to defend their budgets.

Subsequently, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki on April 12, mandated the Appropriation Committee to tidy up reports on the budget latest by April 13.

With the develop, the January to December budget cycle would not be obtainable with the 2018 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 7, presented a budget of N8.6 trillion before  a joint session of the National Assembly.

The president who announced the 2018 budget as “Budget of Consolidation”, said the projected expenditure would drive rapid economic recovery. 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