Senate receives 2017 budget report
National Assembly may pass N7.441 trillion Appropriation Bill tomorrow
The Senate yesterday said it would begin clause-by-clause consideration of the 2017 Appropriation Bill and may pass it tomorrow.
This decision followed the submission of the report on the budget bill by Chairman of the joint Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje.
Receiving the report, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the lawmakers were yet to receive both hard and soft copies of the budget but, however, assured that they would get them today.
The committee has, however, raised the budget figure of N7.298 trillion as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to N7.441 trillion, meaning an addition of about N143 billion.
According to the report, the sum of N434.4 billion is for statutory transfer, N1.84 trillion for debt servicing and N177.46 billion is for sinking fund for maturing bonds.
The sum of N2.99 trillion was appropriated for recurrent (non-debt) while N2.17 trillion was provided for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure.
Briefing journalists after the session, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, stated that unlike last year’s budget, the 2017 budget would be passed alongside the details.
He also said that both chambers of the National Assembly would pass a harmonised budget after the clause-by-clause consideration.
The Senate spokesperson said that the budget would be passed within 48 hours of its presentation.
He said: “We have a rule. If you know our rule, if you lay a report today, you must take 48 hours. So, by Thursday (tomorrow), we are coming back to consider the report and pass it.
“As a departure, what was laid in the Senate is exactly what will be laid in the House of Representatives because the two committees worked together.”
In the same vein, the House of Representatives has concluded work on the budget, approving N7.441 trillion as against the N7.298 trillion proposed by President Buhari in December.
Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Mustapha Bala Dawaki, who presented the report on the budget during the plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, said of the N7,441,175,486,758, the sum of N434,412,950,249 is for statutory transfers.
He further stated that N1,841,345,727,206 is for debt service, while N177,460,296,707 is for sinking fund for maturing bonds.
Besides, he said that N2,990,920,033,435 is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while N2,174,496,775,867 is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure (exclusive of capital expenditure in statutory transfers) for the year ending December 31, 2017.