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Senate Passes N4.695 Trillion Budget


News » Politics
Nigeria

IMAGE: The Senate »

10.Apr.2014

 

Story:  Omololu Ogunmade and Muhammad Bello

 

The Senate Wednesday passed a N4.695 trillion budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
The come as the House of Representatives is equally likely to consider and pass the budget today.

The figure passed by the Senate is about N53 billion higher than N4.642 trillion presented by the executive on December 19, last year.  Of the total budget figure, N2.454 trillion was approved as recurrent expenditure while the sum of the N1.119 trillion was passed as capital expenditure.

The budget also contained N408.6 billion for statutory transfers as well as N712 billion for debt service.

The passage of the budget followed the adoption of the report of Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance.

The upper chamber also passed the entire N268.3 billion budget proposed by the executive for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

The passage of the SURE-P budget however, followed the discovery of an extra N5 billion added to the SURE-P budget by the committee.

The report of the Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance presented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmad Maccido, had contained N273.5 billion as SURE-P budget, thus prompting Senate Committee Chairman on SURE-P, Abdul Ningi, to draw the attention  of the Senate to the discrepancy in the proposed budget and the figure presented by the executive.
But Maccido explained that it was a mere typographical error and consequently, the figure was corrected before the N268.3 billion budget was passed.

While presenting the report, Maccido said the budget was predicated on $77.50 per barrel crude oil benchmark; the proposal of 2.3883 million per barrels of crude oil production exchange rate of N160 to $1; 6.75 per cent growth rate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as 9.5 per cent inflation rate.

The breakdown of the budget as passed by the Senate showed that education had the largest chunk with N373.5 billion as recurrent expenditure and N50.7 billion as capital expenditure.

This was followed by security which consists of the Ministry of Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force with N314.3 billion as recurrent expenditure and N35.3 billion as capital expenditure.

After security is police formation and command budget of N295.5 billion as recurrent expenditure and N7.3 billion capital expenture. Others are Health - N214.9 billion recurrent expenditure and N49.5 billion capital expenditure; Works - N106.3 billion capital expenditure and N27.4 billion recurrent expenditure; power - N3.3 billion capital expenditure and N59.8 billion recurrent expenditure, among others.

Maccido told the upper legislative chamber that the committee observed that: “The 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, upon which the 2014 budget was based, just like the previous editions, will require refining refined and re¬tooling both in procedure and process. A major issue here is in the planning required and the engagement processes with all stakeholders which will have added effective value to the budget process, with obvious multiplier effect on the economy.

“The drop in oil production volume as reflected in the budget estimates of the past two years remains a disturbing phenomenon. The obvious reason has been traced to the obstruction to oil production as a result of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.

“The appalling state of budget implementation in the country is still a worrying recurring decimal for our economy. Unspent funds that are rolled over into the economy only makes mockery of development which is a dire necessity across the nation. Government must be seen to be taking steps to improve on this.

“The 2014 budget, which is described as one of job creation and inclusive growth, deserves to urgently rise to the occasion to defend itself, in view of the yawning gap between employment created and the army of the unemployed.”

In his remark, Senate President, David Mark, said with the passage of the budget, the executive should ensure that it works very hard to ensure that it is implemented as passed.

Meanwhile, it was reliably gathered that the House of Representatives would pass the budget today before it embarks on Easter recess. The Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. John Enoh, on Tuesday  presented the appropriation  report to the House.

But its consideration was deferred till yesterday. And yesterday, Enoh was absent.
The Speaker of the House, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, who presided over yesterday’s plenary, said the deliberation on the budget would commence today and urged all the members to endeavour to attend. Prior to the plenary, members converged at a basement room in the precinct of the House to brainstorm on the budget for more than one hour.

Led by Tambuwal, it was learnt that the legislators did a peer review of the Senate exercise on the same issue.
“We studied the Senate’s proceeding on the Appropriation Act. We took it clause by clause and adopted it so that there will be no discrepancies when we finally pass it,” a source told THISDAY.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday  Order Papers had listed the budget for consideration, showing that its consideration might have been taken  in the Committee of the Whole, following the presentation. Yesterday’s Order Paper showed that N399.687 billion was recommended for statutory transfers, while N712billion was voted for debt servicing. A total of N2.430 trillion was recommended for recurrent expenditure, while N1.100 trillion was voted as capital component.

The 2014 budget was laid on the floor of the House on December 18, 2013 by the the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Article Credit: ThisDay newspaper

Updated 4 Years ago
 

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Tags:     The Senate     Budget     Senator Ahmad Maccido     Gross Domestic Product (GDP)     Hon Aminu Tambuwal    

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