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N/Assembly passes N8.916trn 2019 budget

N23.6bn for lawmakers’ severance package N160bn for new minimum wage   The two chambers of the National Assembly yesterday passed the 2019 budget of N8.916…

  • N23.6bn for lawmakers’ severance package
  • N160bn for new minimum wage

 

The two chambers of the National Assembly yesterday passed the 2019 budget of N8.916 trillion.

The amount passed was N90 billion higher than the N8.826 trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 19 last year when he laid the fiscal proposal.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the same amount and details as the appropriations committees of both chambers, headed by Sen Mohammed Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) and Rep Mustapha Bala Dawaki (APC, Kano), worked together.

The two chambers suspended their rules to allow for the third reading of the money bill as well as adopt their votes and proceedings for yesterday. The Senate then adjourned to next Tuesday.

The lawmakers approved the sum of N23.678bn as severance gratuity for outgoing legislators and legislative aides, allowances for incoming legislators and legislative aides as well as induction programme/inauguration of the 9th Assembly.

The N23.678bn above is in addition to the N128bn the lawmakers approved as the National Assembly annual budget, though the president proposed the sum of N125bn. This shows an increase of N3bn.

Under the 2018 budget, the federal legislature approved the sum of N139.5bn as its budget.

The lawmakers also approved the sum of N10bn as Special Intervention Fund meant for re-building Zamfara state, in the aftermath of bandits’ attacks, following a motion by Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa (APC, Zamfara), weeks ago.

The sum of N160bn was also appropriated for public service wage adjustment for MDAs, including arrears of promotion and salary increase and payment of severance benefits.

They also approved the sum of N45bn for the North East Development Commission (NEDC), against the N10bn proposed by Buhari.

Other amounts approved in the budget included N100bn for constituency (zonal intervention) projects; N75bn for Operations Lafiya Dole and other operations of the Armed Forces; N64bn for Amnesty Programme; N22.682bn for payment of outstanding terminal benefits of Nigeria Airways ex-workers, and N2.3bn for entitlements of former presidents/heads of states and vice presidents/Chief of General Staff.

The budget details also showed that N2bn was approved for service-wide training of budget/planning officers on budget preparations as well as monitoring and evaluation of all projects nationwide. The sum of N15bn was approved as additional support to universities.

In terms of allocations to ministries, the details showed that the Federal Ministry of Interior got N564.222bn; Education, N463.395bn; Defence, N430.829bn; Health, N315.717bn; Youths and Sports Development, N122.668bn; National Security Adviser, N86.840bn; SGF, N63.400bn.

Others are Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N66.107bn; Information and Culture, N44.601bn; Agriculture and Rural Development, N57.677bn, among others.

Out of the approved budget, N502bn is for statutory transfers; N2.254trn for debt servicing; N4.055trn for recurrent expenditure, and N2.094trn for capital expenditure.

The budget has a fiscal deficit of N1.908trn with deficit to GDP of 1.37 percent.

The budget is predicated on daily oil production of 2.3 million barrel per day, oil benchmark of$60 per barrel and an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar.

Buhari to get budget tomorrow

The National Assembly will tomorrow, Thursday, transmit the budget to President Buhari for his assent.

House appropriations committee chairman, Dawaki, who disclosed this to newsmen after the budget was passed, said the 2019 budget encountered minor delays because many ministers and heads of agencies failed to defend their proposals in good time.

 

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