Senate passes revised 2020 budget
Nigeria senate on Thursday passed the revised 2020 budget of N10.8 trillion, only marginally lower than the record 10.59 trillion naira budget approved in December.
The reduction in the budget cost is as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and oil price plunge which has triggered a decline in growth and large financing needs of the country as well as weakening the naira currency.
The government has said since March that the budget passed in December would be revised down.
The lawmakers increased the revised budget by N300 billion from N10.5 trillion presented by the presidency after the senate expressed disappointment on the failure of the presidency to include a voted N186 billion for the health allocation.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan during the plenary on Wednesday express his anger that the executive arm of government ignored part of the budget meant to take care of health emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North), on Wednesday said the presidency refused to capture the N186 billion health vote as part of the entire N500 billion intervention fund for COVID-19 in the appropriation bill.
He said while N314 billion was captured as part of the intervention fund, the balance of N186 billion proposed for the health sector, was not.
The senate therefore passed a sum of N500 billion in the budget as an intervention fund for COVID-19 and a sum of N186 billion specifically for the health sector.
In the revised budget, N422 billion was fixed for statutory transfers, N4.9 trillion for recurrent expenditure and N2.4 trillion is for capital expenditure.
A sum of N2.9 trillion was earmarked for debt servicing.
The senate passed the budget after it dissolved into the committee of supply to approve clauses of the bill.
The budget will become operational when President Muhammadu Buhari gives his assent to it.
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