National Assembly passes N7.441 trillion 2017 Budget


    The 2017 budget was yesterday passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly—147 days after it was laid before them.

    President Muhammadu Buhari presented a N7.298 trillion estimate before the joint session on Deember 14, last year.

    But the lawmakers passed an estimate of N7.441 trillion, raisng the expected expenditure by N143 billion.

    The appropriation committees of both chambers presented the reports of the budget for consideration and the bill was passed with little complaints.

    Oil price benchmark was raised from $42.50 proposed by the President to $44.50. The lawmakers however retained 2.2 million barrels per day for crude oil production and an exchange rate regime of N305/ USD.

    The lawmakwers raised their expenditure plan from N115 billion to N125 billion.

    For the first time, the lawmakers released an outlay of their budget.

    At the House of Representatives, Chairman, Committee on Appropriation Mustapha Dawaki (APC, Kano) presented the report which was considered and passed.

    The Green Chamber suspended the business of the day and dissolved into the Committee of Supply for the consideration and passage of budget with its 12 attached clauses.

    There was only one complaint as the Speaker took members through a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. Members protested against the N84.7 billion Recurrent and Capital budget of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

    There were shouts of ‘no, no’, as the Speaker got to the item with the SGF’s budget. Nonetheless, it was passed.

    Dawaki said while the Executive proposed a crude oil benchmark of $42.50, the lawmakers approved $44.50. The lawmakers retained 2.2 million barrels per day for Crude Oil production and the Exchange rate regime of N305/ USD.

    Explaining the N 143 billion increase in the estimate, Dawaki said: “With the additional expected revenue from the increase in the benchmark price of crude oil, provision has been made from the under listed budgetary needs, among others. This has increased the aggregate figure to N7,441, 175, 486,758.”

    The additional expenses are: Judgment debts  (Justice) N10 billion; backlog of Corps members allowances ( Youth) N13. 06 billion; repairs of Abuja Airport runway ( Transport) N5.8 billion; increase in personnel cost ( 18 MDAs) N5.1 billion; UNESCO assessed contribution (Education) N1.2 billion;  subscription to Shelter Afrique (Power, Works & Housing) N3.6 billion.

    Others are: Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) ( Service Wide) N2.5 billion; Amnesty Programme ( Service Wide) N10 billion; National Identity Management Commission (SGF) N5 billion, and Roads Nationwide ( Power, Works and Housing ) N25 billion.

    Dawaki added: “ Adequate provision has been made for the improvement of our inland water ways, for the second Abuja runway, and funding of the long- abandoned Itakpe- Warri rail line and the Abeokuta Airstrip.”

    SpeakerYakubu Dogara said after the budget consideration: “The House considered and passed the report of the Committee on Appropriations on a Bill authorising the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N7,441, 175, 486,758 (Seven trillion, four hundred and forty- one billion, one hundred and seventy-five million, four hundred and eighty- six thousand, seven hundred and fifty- eight naira only).”

    In the budget passed N434. 413 billion is for statutory transfers, N1. 841 trillion is for Debt Service and N177.460 billion is for Sinking Fund from maturing bonds. Also, N 2. 987, 560, 033,436 is for Recurrent Expenditure and 2,177,866,775,867 is for Capital Expenditure .

    Fiscal Deficit is N2.356,773,720,940. Deficit to GDP is 2.18 per cent.

    The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing received the highest fund of N586,535,786,168, followed by the Federal Ministry of Transport with N256,519,103,581 and the Federal Ministry of Education N455,407,788,565. The Federal Ministry of Health received N308,464,276,248.

    For debt servicing, N1,663,885, 430, 449 is allocated and N177,460,296,707 is for sinking fund to retire maturing loans,  making a total of N1,841,345,727,206 for debt management.

    Ministry of Information and Culture got N9, 546, 245, 041.

    Under the Service Wide Vote and Pensions N2, 599,702,192 is allocated for the benefits of retired Heads of the Civil Service of the Federation; N4 billion for Treasury Single Account operations; N2.5 billion is for the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

    Allocation for the contentious zonal intervention projects,  better known as constituency projects, remained unchanged from 2016 at N100 billion. The North-East intervention fund stays at 45 billion.

    The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing got N32, 821, 929, 005 recurrent and N553, 71, 857, 113 for capital expenditure; Ministry of Health receives N252, 854, 396, 662 for recurrent and N10, 291, 783, 534 for capital.

    Ministry of Interior is to receive N472, 597, 817, 561 for recurrent and N63, 760, 562, 487 for capital; Ministry of Transportation to receive N14, 810, 103, 581 for recurrent and N241, 709, 000, 000 for capital.

    The National Judicial Council (NJC) to get N100, 000, 000, 000 billion; while the Universal Basic Education Scheme is to receive N95, 189, 395, 538 billion.

    For the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, it’s N63, 222, 101, 051 billion and N6, 793, 128, 647 for recurrent and capital expenditures respectively.

    Office of the National Security Adviser to get N76, 281, 025, 653 billion for recurrent, with N47, 209, 203, 765 for capital; State House to get N22, 947, 666, 215 for recurrent and N20, 006, 000, 000 for capital of the expenditure.

    Office of the SGF will receive N51, 933, 366, 906 for recurrent while it will receive N32, 778, 490, 342 for capital.

    Domestic debt service to get N1, 488, 002, 436, 547 trillion, while N175, 882, 993, 952 billion is set aside for foreign debt service, bringing the total debt service to N1, 841, 345, 727, 206 trillion.

    Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs Abdulrasak Namdas, said the budget would soon be transmitted to the Presidency for assent.