OrderPaperToday – The passage of the 2018 budget is finally making a head way as it is being laid in the two federal legislative chambers today.
This is coming 190 days after it was laid on the 7th of November 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari at the joint session of the assembly.
In the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations submitted a budget report that is N500 billion higher than what President Buhari submitted.
Recall that the President submitted a budget of N8.6 trillion to the National Assembly for approval. However, the budget report submitted by the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Mustapha Dawaki (APC, Kano) jerks the figure to N9.12 trillion.
In the budget laid, recurrent expenditure was increased from N3.494 trillion to N3.516 trillion, while capital expenditure jumped from N2.428 trillion to about N2.869 trillion.
The sinking fund for maturing loans was reduced from N220 billion to N190 billion, serving as the only part of the new budget that was reduced.
Additionally, the proposed fund for debt servicing was increased from N2.02 trillion to N2.2 trillion, while statuary transfer was increased from N456 billion to N530 billion.
The Presiding officer, Lasun Yusuf, announced that the budget will be passed tomorrow, and if they are unable to complete its passage on the day, it will be finished on Thursday, the following day.
The increments are subject to the approval of the two chambers.
Recall also that several officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies have come to defend their 2018 appropriation bill.
Although, the defence have been characterized with criticisms from the red chamber who lamented that some government officials failed to show up and those who came have refused to return when told to make corrections.
On the 23rd of March, the upper legislative chamber instructed its standing committees to turn their reports on the appropriation bill.
Since then, the National Assembly had made promises in passing the budget but failed to meet up such deadlines.
Additional reporting by Bakare Majeed