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President Buhari signs 2018 Budget, criticises NASS over changes

20 June 2018 National


President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2018 budget into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2018 appropriation bill containing the year’s federal spending details as approved by the National Assembly at about 12 noon on Wednesday inside his office at the presidential villa Abuja.

The total budget is N9.1 trillion, up from the N8.6 trillion estimates he submitted to the Assembly on November 7, 2017.

The Assembly raised the total figure by N500 million.

They also increased the oil benchmark proposed by the executive from $45 to $51 per barrel.

The Assembly, however, retained oil production volume proposed at 2.3 million barrels per day and an exchange rate at N305 to $1.

The budget as passed by the two chambers also has N530.4 billion as statutory transfer; N2.2 trillion for debt service; N1,95 trillion as fiscal deficit.

The passed budget was transmitted to the presidency for assent on May 25 through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang.

Mr Enang on Wednesday took copies of the budget to the office of the president.

 

President Buhari faults National Assembly over changes in 2018 Budget

President Buhari, however, criticised the National Assembly for reducing allocations for some projects and including thousands of projects into the budget without consultation with the Executive.


He said, “The National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.

“Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation.

“Some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualised, designed and cost and will, therefore, be difficult to execute.”

#2018Budget: Presidency receives 2018 Appropriation Bill from National Assembly

According to the President, not only did it take the lawmakers longer than expected to pass the budget, the final outcome was not what was expected.

“When I submitted the 2018 Budget proposals to the National Assembly on 7th November 2017, I had hoped that the usual legislative review process would be quick, so as to move Nigeria towards a predictable January-December financial year,” he said.

Regardless of the setback, the President is determined to continue working with the National Assembly to improve the budgeting process and restoring Nigeria to the January-December fiscal cycle.

This, he explained, is because although the Federal Government’s budget represents less than 10 per cent of aggregate yearly expenditures in the economy, it has a very significant accelerator effect on the financial plans of other tiers of government, and even more importantly, the private sector, which mostly operates on a January-December financial year.

 

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