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JUST IN: Buhari signs N17.13tn budget into law

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed into law the 2022 appropriation bill recently passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed the 2022 Appropriation Bill of N17.126 trillion into law.

Ripples Nigeria gathered the signing ceremony took place at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This development came after the National Assembly passed the bill presented by the president a few weeks earlier.

The lawmakers had approved a total expenditure of N17.1 trillion against the N16.3 trillion proposed by the president in October. Over N700 billion was added to the proposed appropriation.

Furthermore, the NASS increased the Oil Benchmark Price from $57 to $62 in order to reflect the current market values of the oil prices in the international market.

Nigeria’s daily oil production rate was pegged at 1.86 million per barrel.

In the budget, statutory transfer was put at N869.6 billion, debt service at N3,88 trillion, recurrent (non-debt) expenditure at N6.9 trillion and capital expenditure at N5.46 trillion.

Present at Council Chamber to witness the ceremony are the President of Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan; the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed amongst other government officials.

Speaking at the event, the President said ‘‘The Minister will provide the public with the details of the budget as passed by the National Assembly, and signed into law by me”.

The President announced that as the 2023 Budget is going to be a transition budget, work will start in earnest to ensure early submission of the 2023-2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper as well as the 2023 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly.

He, therefore, directed Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, more specifically with the Budget Office of the Federation, to realise this very important objective.

President Buhari also expressed strong reservations on the ‘‘worrisome changes’’ made by the National Assembly to the 2022 Executive Budget proposal.

He announced that he would revert to the National Assembly with a request for amendment as soon as the Assembly resumes to ensure that critical ongoing projects cardinal to this administration do not suffer a setback due to reduced funding.

The President recounted that during the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill, he had stated that the fiscal year 2022 would be very crucial in his administration’s efforts to complete and put to use critical agenda projects, as well as improve the general living conditions of our people.

‘‘It is in this regard that I must express my reservations about many of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the 2022 Executive Budget proposal.

Read also: Buhari to sign 2022 budget Friday

‘‘Some of the worrisome changes are as follows:

‘‘Increase in projected FGN Independent Revenue by N400 billion, the justification for which is yet to be provided to the Executive;

‘‘Reduction in the provision for Sinking Fund to Retire Maturing Bonds by N22 billion without any explanation;

‘‘Reduction of the provisions for the Non-Regular Allowances of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Navy by N15 billion and N5 billion respectively.

‘‘This is particularly worrisome because personnel cost provisions are based on agencies’ nominal roll and approved salaries/allowances;

‘‘Furthermore, an increase of N21.72 billion in the Overhead budgets of some MDAs, while the sum of N1.96 billion was cut from the provision for some MDAs without apparent justification;

‘‘Increase in the provision for Capital spending (excluding Capital share in Statutory Transfer) by a net amount of N575.63 billion, from N4.89 trillion to N5.47 trillion.’’

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