Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Senate finally passes in the long awaited controversial budget

The Senate finally passed the long anticipated budget on Wednesday March 23, submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The 2016 Budget of N6,060,677,358,277 was reduced by N17,002,641,773. While presenting a report, Danjuma Goje, the chairman of the senate committee on appropriation said the budget was filled with controversy. 

He added that there were many lapses in the budget and in the bid for the Senate to clear up the issues will add more problems. He said if the Senate insisted on clearing up the lapses, the committee would not have been able to meet up with the deadline of submission.

“This budget is full of controversy and we did not want to have more controversy or else it won’t have been presented today and the National Assembly would be blamed. 

“The people would not understand it because people are even saying that we are playing politics,” he said. 

However, Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy Senate president while adding is quota commended the committee and also urged for the lapses to be addressed. On Tuesday, December 22, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari laid before a joint sitting of the National Assembly the 2016 appropriation bill. 

The bill carried the estimates of revenue and expenditure of the federation for the 2016 fiscal year in the aggregate sum of six trillion. The Senate debated the bill on January 20, 21, 26 and 27 respectively. The bill was read a second time on January 27, and consequently referred to the committee on appropriations for further legislative actions.

In preparing details of the bill, the committee adopted a benchmark price of 38 dollars per barrel on crude oil based on the Medium Term Expenditure framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). 

The executive proposals of crude oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of 197 naira to one dollar was adopted. After which the highlight of the bill as recommended by the committee was an aggregate expenditure of 6.06 trillion naira.

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