- Reasons why the 2018 budget was jerked up has been revealed
- The presidency said the increase in the budget figures was made to accommodate the swing in the price of oil at the international market
- The amount added would also be used for capital projects while reducing deficit
The presidency has given reasons for the adjustment of the 2018 budget allocation from N8.6 trillion to 9.12 trillion by the National Assembly.
The senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang, on Sunday, May 27, said the upward adjustment was aimed at accommodating the swing in the price of crude oil in the international market.
Vanguard reports that Enang said the added amount would be applied to capital projects while reducing deficit.
He also assured the public that the present administration would not dwell on controversial issues captured in the budget.
Enang said: “When you submit the budget to the legislature, if there are indices that change in the budget, the budget can also change. The increase in the budget was discussed between us the executive and the legislature because oil price was about $55- $58 per barrel when we submitted the budget.
“At the time the budget was ready to be passed, oil price rose to about $70- $71 per barrel and the executive and the legislature teams met and said we can raise the benchmark from Mr. President’s proposed benchmark of $45 per barrel to $50 per barrel.
"So, that makes some money available and, of course, we had intended that the budget should be passed by December. Budget, having not been passed by December 2017 to January 2018, there were some other sources of revenue which came in.
“We agreed with the legislature that part of it should be applied towards reducing deficit and some applied to some capital projects and that is the reason the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, made some submissions on some capital projects to the Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives and passed them to the Appropriations Committee which has been accommodated to a greater extent.
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“We are not at this time going to get into discrepancy whether the budget was increased rightly or wrongly, we are only going to look at what Mr President directed us to look at in terms of budget details."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com earlier reported that after much squabble between the executive and the legislature, the Senate passed the budget on Wednesday, May 16.
The National Assembly had said that 2018 budget was delayed for months due to the inability of some ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs) who have failed to submit their details within the stipulated time.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki had assured that the budget will be treated with the uttermost urgency which it deserves.
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