Legislators raise estimates by N90b.
Some of the figures added are:
Ex-militants reintegration (N65b)
Zamfara intervention (N10b)
Basic Health Care (N51.219b)
Ex-Airways workers (N22.682b)
Ex-heads of state, others (N2b)
Military operations (N75b)
Northeast Intervention (N45b)
Zonal Intervention (N100b)
Legislative aides (N3b)
Senators passed yesterday the N8.916 trillion 2019 Appropriation Bill.
But the long expected approval of the budget raised little excitement in the private sector.
Reason: The organised Private Sector (OPS) is not sure President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the document, which has added N90 billion to his estimates.
Besides, said private sector operators, the passage of the bill, few weeks to the end of the tenure of the administration, came rather late.
The N8.916 trillion passed for the 2019 fiscal year is contrary to the N8.826 trillion presented by President Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 19, 2018.
The passage of the budget in the Senate followed the consideration of the report of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje.
The figure was also passed by the House of Representatives following the consideration of the report of the House Committee on Appropriation.
The implication of passing the same figure by the two chambers is that there will be no need for harmonization.
The lawmakers jacked up the budget by N90 billion, including the N10 billion approved for Zamfara State to be added to the Service Wide Vote.
The Senate had in a motion resolved to approved N10 billion to Zamfara to cushion the effects of humanitarian crisis arising from sustained banditry in the state.
The lawmakers set aside the sum of N23,678,770,079 as severance gratuity for outgoing legislators and legislative aides, allowances for incoming legislators and legislative aides and induction program/inauguration of the ninth assembly.
The sum of N2,300,000,000 was also set aside for entitlement of former presidents/heads of state and vice president/ Chief of General Staff.
Payment of outstanding terminal benefits of Nigeria airways retirees will gulp N22.682 billion while payment of outstanding death benefit to civil servants/police will take N5,000,000,000.
Group life insurance for all ministries, departments and agencies, including Department of State Service (DSS), insurance of sensitive assets/corpers and administration monitoring will take N15,000,000,000.
Public service wage adjustment for MDAs (including arrears of promotion and salary increases) and payment of severance benefits to take N160,000,000,000.
Military operations, including Lafiya Dole and other operations of the armed forces to gulp N75,000,000,000.
Settlement of MDAs electricity bills N5,000,000,000 while IPPIS capturing will take N2,000,000,000.
The sum of N2,500,000,000 was earmarked for payment of outstanding services while margin for increases in costs and recurrent adjustment cost will take N4 billion.
Presidential Amnesty Program: Reintegration of Transformed ex-militants will gulp N65 billion.
The sum of N45 billion was allocated as Northeast Intervention Fund while N100 billion is voted for zonal intervention projects.
Service Wide training of budget/planning officers on GIFMIS budget preparation system (BPS) as well as monitoring and evaluation of all projects nationwide will take N2 billion while N350 billion was voted for special intervention program (recurrent).
International sporting competitions N4 billion while Treasury Single Account (TSA) operations will also take N4 billion.
The sum of N4 billion was earmarked for employee compensation Act-employees compensation fund while contribution to international organisations will take N20 billion.
The power sector reform programme (transfer to NBET) was allocated N150.402 billion while N21.250 billion, N51.219 billion was set aside for basic health care fund.
For additional support for universities, the sum of N15 billion was earmarked.
Goje explained that the slight increase in the budget deficit as a result of the provision for the severance benefits of the outgoing legislators and legislative aides, the induction/orientation and inauguration of the new legislators “all of which occur once in four years but were inadvertently not captured in the 2019 budget proposal.
He noted that there was also the need to provide more funds for the security and intelligence agencies to deal with additional emerging/unforeseen security challenges in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on December 19, 2018 laid before a joint sitting of the National Assembly, the 2019 Appropriation Bill, which contained the estimate of revenue and expenditure for the 2019 fiscal year in the aggregate sum of N8,826,636,578,915 only.
The budget proposal, Buhari said, was aimed at consolidating the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of his administration.
The revenue projections for 2019 Budget as adopted from the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/ Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) are:
Daily oil production 2.39mbpd; benchmark oil price $60pb; exchange rate N305/USD,
Aggregate Expenditure (N8,906,964,099,373); Statutory Transfers (N502,058,892,965);
Fiscal Deficit (N1,908,475,049,742); Special Intervention N500,000,000,000; Recurrent Expenditure N2,094,950,709,632; Deficit to GDP 1.37 per cent
The lawmakers passed the budget and adjourned plenary to May 6.