Minute-by-Minute: Senate begins debate on Nigeria’s 2018 budget

The Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, began debate on the general principles of the 2018 Appropriation Bill.

President Muhammad Buhari, had on Tuesday, 7th November, 2017, presented a copy of the 2018 appropriation bill to the joint session of both chambers of the National Assembly, which was presumed to be the first reading.

The bill which would eventually culminate into the 2018 budget after passage, was introduced for second reading on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday by the Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan.

The bill seeks to authorise the issue from the Consolidate Revenue Fund of the Federation, the total sum of Eight Trillion, Six Hundred and Twelve Billion, Two Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Fourteen Naira (N8, 612, 236, 953, 214).

The bill has a nominal increase of 16% above the 2017 budget which was N7.3 trillion.

In the proposed N8.612 trillion of 2018 aggregate expenditure, the sum of N3.494 trillion is allocated for recurrent expenditure, while N2.652 trillion, representing 30.8% of the aggregate is for capital expenditure, with inclusive of capital in statutory transfers and N2.428 trillion, excluding the capital component of statutory transfers.

The sum of N2.014 trillion is for debt services, N456 billion for statutory transfer, while N220 billion is for sinking fund.

According to Senator Lawan, the 2018 budget is predicated on the “assumption of oil price benchmark of $45 per barrel and oil production estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day, including condensates”.

He said, it’s assumed that, the exchange rate would be N305 per dollar, GDP growth of 3.5% and inflation rate of 12.4%.

“Based on the above fiscal assumptions, total federally-collectible revenue is estimated at N11.983 trillion in 2018.

“The three tiers of government is to receive about 12 percent more revenue in 2018 than the 2017 estimate.

“Of the amount, the sum of N6.387 trillion is expected to be realised from oil and gas sources, while the total receipts from the non oil sector are projected at N5.597 trillion”, Lawan said.

The federal government’s estimated total revenue is N6.607 trillion in the 2018 budget, which is about 30% more than the 2017 target.

After receiving contributions from 9 Senators, the Senate adjourned plenary till Wednesday, 29th November, for continuation of debate.

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