- …Approve $5.513 external loan for Buhari
By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives has passed the 2020 revised budget, increasing the proposed sum from N10.509 trillion to N10.805 trillion.
This recorded N296 billion difference from the the amount sent by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The new budget is also N211 billion higher than the N10. 594 trillion passed by the legislature in December 2019 before it was revised to N10.509 trillion against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though the report of the Committee on Appropriation had provided N10.801 trillion for the revised budget but during consideration, N4 billion was added to take care of hazard and other welfare packages for Residents Doctors not hitherto captured.
The budget was passed on Wednesday at plenary after clause by clause consideration of the report of the Committee on Appropriation by the Committee of Supply chaired by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
In his brief explanation during consideration of the budget, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Muktar Betara said the increase in the revised budget was for interventions to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country.
Titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Appropriation Act, 2020 to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N10,801,544,664,642 (raised by N4,000,000,000)”, the budget allocated N422. 77 billion for Statutory Transfers and N2.951 trillion for Debt Service.
Also, the sum N4.938 trillion is allocated to Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N2.488 trillion is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure.
Under the statutory transfers, the National Judicial Council took N110 billion, Niger-Delta Development Commission N44.200 billion, Universal Basic Education N51.120 billion and National Assembly gulped N128 billion.
Furthermore, Public Complaints Commission took N4.700 billion, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) N36 billion, National Human Right Commission N2.250 billion, North East Development Commission N20.944 billion while Basic Health Care Fund got N25.560 billion.
Out of the N2.951 trillion allocation for debt service, Domestic Debts got N1. 873 trillion, Foreign Debts took
N805. 470 billion and Sinking Fund to Retire Maturing Loans is allocated N272. 900 billion.
The House also approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $5.513 billion to finance the deficit in the 2020 budget.
A breakdown of the loan indicated that the federal government intends to borrow $3,400,000,000 from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for rapid financing instrument; $1,500.000,000 from the World Bank for development policy financing; $500, 000, 000 from the African Development Bank for Covid-19 crises response budget support operation and $113, 000,000 from the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) to part finance the 2020 revised budget deficit.