The Senate today, Tuesday 30th day of April,2019 passed the 2019 Budget of N8.92trn, as against N8.83trn presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 18, 2018.
This was sequel to the adoption of the report of Senate Committee on Appropriation at plenary.
Presenting the report, Senator Danjuma Goje said the increase of N90bn in the budget is to cater for security challenges in the country, packages for lawmakers and support for Zamfara State.
According to him, N23.68bn was earmarked for severance gratuity for outgoing legislators and legislative aides.
He also stated that the amount was also for allowances for incoming legislators and legislative aides and induction programme and inauguration of the 9th Assembly.
He further said the sum of N10bn was earmarked for Zamfara State, while security agencies had their budgets increased to cater for security challenges.
“There is a slight increase in the budget deficit. This is as a result of provision for severance benefits for the outgoing legislators and legislative aides and the induction and orientation and inauguration of new lawmakers. It was not captured in the 2019 budget.
“There was also the need to provide more funds for security and intelligence agencies to deal with additional emerging and unforeseen security challenges in the country,” he said.
He noted that Statutory Transfer stood at N502bn, Fiscal Deficit-N1.9trn, Special Intervention N500bn, Recurrent Expenditure N4trn, Capital Expenditure N2trn and Deficit to GDP of 1.37 per cent.
The chairman said of the statutory transfer of N502bn, the National Assembly has a budgetary provision of N128bn and Universal Basic Education Board N112.47bn.
Others are, Independent National Electoral Commission N45.5bn, National Judicial Council N110bn, Niger Delta Development Commission N100.18bn.
Others are, Public Complaints Commission N4.40bn and National Human Rights Commission N1.5bn.
He further said that the Senate maintained key assumptions of Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper sent by the Executive.
He pointed out that Daily Oil Production stood at 2.3 million barrels per day, Oil Benchmark stood at $60 per barrel, while the Exchange Rate stood at N305 per dollar.
Goje also noted that total debt stood at N2.254trn, with Domestic Debt Service at N1.71trn, Foreign Debt Service at N433.79trn, while Sinking Fund stood at N110bn.
On sectoral allocation for capital budget, he said the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, has N394.91bn, followed by Ministry of Transportation with N179.38bn, while the Ministry of Defence has N159.13bn.
He further said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has allocation of N107. 22bn, Water Resources N92.18bn.
The lawmaker also said that the Ministry of Education got N58.69bn, Ministry of Health N57.09bn, Presidency N33.15bn and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs- N4.05bn.
On capital supplementation, Goje said the sum of N50bn was earmarked for Special Intervention Programme (Capital), N45bn for North East Intervention Fund, N15bn for payment of local contractors’ debts and other liabilities.
He further noted that the sum of N3.5bn was earmarked for Counterpart Funding.
He stated that the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, called for prompt assent to the bill.
The House of Representatives has also passed the budget.