Reps pass N9.12bn 2018 budget with caveat

2018 budget
Members of house of Reps

Oladisun Amosun

Members of House of Representatives on Wednesday at plenary passed the N9.120 trillion 2018 budget with a caveat that the Federal Government cannot engage in extra-budgetary spending unless through supplementary appropriation.

The conference committee report of the budget was laid on Tuesday by the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Rep. Mustapha Dawaki.

Other conditions given by the House before passing the budget, include barring the administration from borrowing without first furnishing the legislature details of the borrowing-plan and obtaining approval.

Also, the House had set up a conference committee to liaise with the Senate based on the conditions attached to the budget passage, which has now fixed the budget cycle at 12 months.

Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas made the conditions known when he addressed House of Reps correspondents.

He said that “we have set up a conference committee to harmonise any remaining differences with the Senate based on the new clauses passed by the House”

“We believe that a clean copy of the budget will be ready by next week and sent to the president for assent.”

Namdas explained that the budget was jacked-up based on a new oil benchmark of 51dollars, crude oil production of 2.3mbp/d and an exchange rate of N305 to the dollar, thereby giving the leeway to make additional provisions to areas in dire need.

He added that reduction of deficit amounted to N50.88 billion, inc increase in security allocation to N46.72 billion; health N57.15 billion; power, works and housing N106.50 billion.

Also, he said education allocation was increased,  particularly for infrastructure for the newly established federal universities and meal subsidy for Unity schools, N15.70 billion; judiciary N10 billion and the NDDC N44.2 billion.

According to the document circulated to the lawmakers and glimpsed by our correspondent,  Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing gets the highest allocation of N682.309 billion, followed by Transportation to the tune of N251.420 billion; N157.715 billion is for Defence; N149.198 billion is for Agriculture and Rural Development; N147.200 billion is for Water Resources and N102.907 billion is for Education while N150 billion is allotted for capital Special Intervention programme.

Breakdown of the 2018 budget showed that National Assembly gets N139.5 billion; National Judicial Council (NJC) gets N110 billion as against the sum of N100 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Part payment to NDDC outstanding liabilities on Federal Government gets N33.98 billion while NNDC gets N81.883 billion; Universal Basic Education gets N109.064 billion; Independent National Electoral Commission gets N45.5 billion; National Human Rights Commission gets N3.014 billion while Public Complaint Commission gets N7.48 billion.

Out of total sum of N2.014 trillion allotted to debt serving, the sum of N1.760 trillion is for domestic debts while N254.080 billion is for Foreign debts and additional sum of N190 billion is for sinking fund to retire matured loans.

Also, N110.842 billion is for Youth and Sports Development; N76.025 is billion for office of the National Security Adviser; N63.535 billion is for Petroleum Resources and N63.114 billion is allocated to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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