National Assembly begins budget debate this week

Posted by News Express | 21 January 2019 | 1,347 times

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The National Assembly will this week commence debate on the 2019 budget estimates presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 19, 2018.

Senators and members of the House of Representatives were expected to begin the budget debate last week upon their resumption from the Christmas and New Year break.

However, that did not happen as the budget proposal was not listed on the Senate Order Paper last Wednesday and Thursday.

At the House, the budget was listed for debate on Thursday, but it was postponed to this week as members complained that they did not have copies of the budget document.

The two chambers would subsequently pass it for a second reading, after which they would refer the budget to the Committees on Appropriations and Finance for further legislative action.

A senator told Daily Trust on the telephone that although a lot of them wanted the budget debate this week, others wished that it should be postponed to allow legislators to concentrate on their reelection campaigns‎.

It was gathered that the lawmakers will then embark on an election break on Thursday to reconvene after the presidential and governorship elections.

Buhari had proposed the sum of N8.83 trillion for 2019, which is N300 billion lower than the 2018 budget.

The 2019 estimates were based on oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar.

The proposal was based on real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.01 percent and an inflation rate of 9.98 percent, with a total projected revenue of N6.97 trillion, about three percent lower than the 2018 estimate of N7.17 trillion.

The budget breakdown showed that N4.04 trillion (50.31 percent) was for recurrent expenditure and N2.03 trillion representing (22.98 percent) was allocated to capital projects.

Capital expenditure fell from 31.73 percent in 2017 to 31.50 percent in 2018, and drastically to 22.98 percent in the 2019 budget.

There was also the N492.36 billion for statutory transfers; N2.14 trillion for debt servicing, and N120 billion as a sinking fund.

Sourced from a Daily Trust report

Source: News Express

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