• As NASS passes N9.12trn 2018 budget
• Recurrent: N3.51trn •Capital: N2.87trn •Statutory transfer: N530bn •Constituency projects: N100bn
By IkechukwuOkaforadi, Musa Adamu and Christiana Ekpa Abuja
The National Assembly yesterday passed the N9.120trillion 2018 Appropriation Bill, in which it raised the oil price benchmark from the $45 per barrel as proposed by the executive to $51 per barrel, even as it approved one percent of the budget for primary health coverage for Nigerians.
In the final budget, the Senate retained all other indices, including the daily oil production of N2.2billion, exchange rate of N305/$.
The budget has also a statutory transfer of N530.4billion, while the total capital expenditure for the 2018 is pegged at N2, 873trillion, just as N100 billion was earmarked for the constituency projects of the lawmakers.
Also, the sum of N2,203,835,365,699 (Two Trillion, Two Hundred and Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Five Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira) only was for Debt Service.
Also, the sum of N190,000,000,000 (One Hundred and Ninety Billion Naira) only is for Sinking Fund for maturing loans, the sum of N3,516,477,902,077 (Three Trillion, Five Hundred and Sixteen Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy-Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Two Thousand, Seventy Seven Naira) only was for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure, while the sum of N2,869,600,351,825 (Two Trillion, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Nine Billion, Six Hundred Million, Three Hundred and Fifty- One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five Naira) only, was contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure (Exclusive of Capital Expenditure in Statutory Transfers) for the year ending on the 31st December, 2018.
Highlights of the budget, which is N508 billion higher than the N8.612 trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Joint session of the National Assembly in December last year, indicates that Ministry of Power, Works and Housing got lion share amounting to the capital allocation of the sum of N682,959,550,242 billion to execute its projects spread across the country during the financial year.
The Ministry of Transportation is to spend the total sum of N251,420,000.000 billion, while the Defence ministry was allocated the sum of N157,715,439.613 billion to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the country during the financial year.
The capital allocation further indicates thus: Ministry of Agriculture and rural development – N149,198,139.0 37 billion, Ministry of Water Resources – N147,199,614,645 billion, and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment – N105,156,176,854 billion.
The capital allocation in the budget further indicate as follows: Ministry of Education – N102,907,290,833 billion, Ministry of Health N86,482,848,198 billion, Ministry of Environment – N17,492,955,833 billion, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs – N58,082,611,977 billion.
N150 billion was allotted for capital Special Intervention programme.
Breakdown of the 2018 budget showed that National Assembly gets N139.5 billion; National Judicial Council (NJC) gets N110 billion against the sum of N100 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Part payment to NDDC outstanding liabilities on Federal Government gets N33.98 billion while NNDC gets N81.883 billion; Universal Basic Education gets N109.064 billion; Independent National Electoral Commission gets N45.5 billion; National Human Rights Commission gets N3.014 billion while Public Complaint Commission gets N7.48 billion.
Out of total sum of N2.014 trillion alloted to debt serving, the sum of N1.760 is for domestic debts while N254.080 is for Foreign debts and additional sum of N190 billion is for sinking fund to retire matured loans.
From the total sum of N3.513 trillion approved for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, Federal Ministry of Interior gets the highest allocation of N501.610 billion, followed by N439.256 billion for education; N419 billion for Defence; N269.965 billion for Health; N110.842 billion for Youth and Sports Development; N76.025 for office of the National Security Adviser; N63.535 billion for Petroleum Resources and N63.114 billion for Foreign Affairs.
Recall that the National Assembly jerked up the 2018 budget figure from N8.612 trillion to N9,120,334,988,225 trillion naira, despite the initial outcry by the lawmakers that the 2018 budget was bogus and unrealizable.
The Passage of the budget had been delayed because the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government allegedly failed to submit details of their budget proposals and did not come for budget defence session.