After what seemed like an unexplained delay, the 2018 Appropriation Bill will be passed into law today by lawmakers of both chambers of the National Assembly and that’s official.
The House of Representatives at its resumed plenary yesterday announced an increase on President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2018 Appropriation Bill from N8.612 trillion to N9.120trillion and expressed its readiness to pass the budget today.
The budget, which was presented by President Buhari on November 7, 2017, to the joint session of the National Assembly, was referred to the House Committee on Appropriation on December 5, 2017 for further legislative actions after debate on the floor, for second reading.
Rep. Mustapha Dawaki, Chairman House Committee on Appropriation, who made the presentation of the joint committee of the two chambers on the money bill, urged the House to receive the report on a Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, the total sum of N9,120,334,988,225 (Nine Trillion, One Hundred and Twenty Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty-Four Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty-Five Naira) only.
From the total amount appropriated, he told the House that the sum of N 530,421,368,624 (Five Hundred and Thirty Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty-One Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty-Four Naira) only was for Statutory Transfers, while the sum of N2,203,835,365,699 (Two Trillion, Two Hundred and Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira) only was for Debt Service.
Also, that the sum of N190,000,000,000 (One Hundred and Ninety Billion Naira) only is for Sinking Fund for maturing loans, the sum of N3,516,477,902,077 ( Three Trillion, Five Hundred and Sixteen Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy-Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Two Thousand, Seventy Seven Naira) only was for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure, while the sum of N2,869,600,351,825 (Two Trillion, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Nine Billion, Six Hundred Million, Three Hundred and Fifty- One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five Naira) only, was contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure (Exclusive of Capital Expenditure in Statutory Transfers) for the year ending on the 31st December, 2018.
Receiving the report, the Presiding officer and Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuff directed the lawmakers to pick up copies of the budget for perusal preparatory to the budget’s passage.
According to him, “Members should pick up copies of the budget after today’s (Tuesday) sitting and we will pass the budget tomorrow afternoon. If we are not able to finish, we will conclude on Thursday latest. “
Rt. Hon Yussuff stressed that they would have to pass the budget before adjourning on Thursday to enable Members to participate in the forthcoming Congress of the (APC).
The Appropriation Committee of both the Senate and House of Representatives have over time been in a conference over the document and with the eventual presentation of its report, it is believed the document is finally ready for passage.