National Assembly has passed for second reading, the N4.3 trillion 2015 budget proposal, with the lawmakers lamenting the continued decline in crude oil price, calling on the federal government to explore other sources of revenue to cushion the effect.
This is even as the lawmakers adjourned plenary to February 17, to enable members participate in electioneering activities.
The lawmakers in their separate contributions regretted that the 2015 proposal for the capital projects is not only unrealistic, but grossly short of expectations.
Speaking shortly after the debate, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary in the Senate, called on the various standing committees to capture every existing revenue sources to ensure that there is a pull of resources to finance the budget when passed.
Leading debate on the Bill, the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, said the bill seeks to authorize the issuance from the consolidated revenue fund of the federation, the total sum of N4,357,960,000 (four trillion, three hundred and fifty-seven billion, nine hundred and sixty million).
He gave the breakdown of the budget as follows: the statutory transfer, which stands at N411, 840,000,000(four hundred and eleven billion, eight hundred and forty million naira), the debt service, which stands at N943, 000,000,000(Nine hundred and forty-three billion naira).
Others are: the recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, which stands at N2, 616,007,426,233 (two trillion, six hundred and sixteen billion, seven million, four hundred and seventeen thousand, two hundred and thirty-three naira).
Lastly, the contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure, which is N387, 112,573,767(three hundred and eighty-seven billion, one hundred and twelve million, five hundred and seventy-three thousand, seven hundred and sixty-seven naira).
Meanwhile, the parameters of the 2015 budget proposal include oil benchmark price of $65 per barrel, projected oil production of 2.2782million barrels per day and the average exchange rate of 165 naira per dollar.