Friday, 16 March 2012

Senate passes N4.8trn 2012 budget

 The Senate, yesterday, passed the budget of N4,877, 209,156,933 for the 2012 fiscal year, just as it plans to sue the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, over repeated failure to submit its budget to National Assembly for approval.
The new budget passed was N229 billion higher than the revised budget of N4.648 trillion sent to the National Assembly in February by President Goodluck Jonathan.

From Left, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on 
 Appropriation, Hon. John Enoh, addressing pressmen on 2012 budget passed by National Assembly while Deputy Chairman House Committee Media, Hon. Victor Ogene , and the Special Assistant to the Speaker House of Representatives, Mallam Imam Imam , look on at the briefing at the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

The budget includes an upward review of oil benchmark of $70 bpd proposed by President Jonathan to $72 bpd which is to help reduce provision for deficit budget of N1.162 trillion by N98 billion.
It also includes N888 billion funding for oil subsidy programme, beside another N180 billion provided for Subsidy Re-investment Programme, SURE.

Senators, during the clause-by-clause consideration of the budget after its presentation by chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Ahmad Maccido underscored the poor performance of the 2011 budget.
Maccido, while giving details of the budget, said statutory transfers was N372,593,095,601, debt service  N559,580,000,000, and recurrent expenditure was N2,425,049, 954, 640. He said that for capital expenditure was N1,519,986,106,691.

The committee chairman said the new budget had a deficit of less than N1billion.
Other details of the 2012 budget, according to him, include crude oil production at 2.48 mbpd, which was the same as the executive’s proposal; Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate at 7.2 per cent: Inflation rate at 9.5 per cent and exchange rate at N155.

Budget passed without significant changes

Maccido who spoke to newsmen after the passage of the budget noted that the budget was passed without significant changes by the Senate and stressed that the executive now had the liability to ensure full implementation of the budget.

Maccido said: “It is important that in preparing details of this bill, the committee adopted a benchmark price of $72 per barrel of crude oil recommended by the Committee on Finance. The Committee also adopted the executive proposal of crude oil production of 2.48 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N155 to US$1.”

Delay in budget presentation

He said the committee had expressed concern on the delay of budget presentation by the executive, while advising that budget should be presented to National Assembly before the end of the fiscal year to enable passage within the on-going fiscal year.

He said: “It would be proper if a gap of three months is given between the time of laying and the end of the previous fiscal year. This is in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.”
He further advised that the conceptualisation of the budget by the executive should be thorough before it is laid at the joint session of the National Assembly.

 Maccido noted: “This will quicken the passage and will not bring confusion among the legislators as this revised version almost did.”

He added that the Senate declined request for further increment from Ministries, Agencies and Departments, MDAs, for projects because the National assembly believed that whatever comes from the Presidency was the hand work of the entire executive.

He said the budget was mainly to continue the on-going project and no new project was added, stressing that it will not be wise to budget for new projects when the old ones have not be completed.
On the failure of the CBN to submit its budget, Maccido said CBN governor was hiding under the CBN Act which stipulates that only the CBN board can scrutinise its budget.

He, however, added that the action violated provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, noting that while the NNPC budget was included in the Appropriation Act for the first time, the CBN has, however, refused to respond to demands for submission of budget by the National Assembly.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who also commented on the intention of the Senate to take legal action against the CBN said: “Under the CBN Act there is a provision there that the Board of the CBN takes care of its budget. But under the Fiscal Responsibilities Act, all agencies of government and every other agency are supposed to bring their budgets for scrutiny to the National Assembly. Unfortunately for us the governor of the CBN is hiding under the CBN Act to refuse to provide the budget of the CBN to the National Assembly and that is a legal matter we will take up with the executive.”

At the conclusion of the budget, Senate President, David Mark, tasked the executive to be prompt in the submission of budget, while stressing the need for government to reduce deficit funding.
He said: “I hope the 2013 budget will be submitted latest by September to give the National Assembly enough time to work and pass it within the year.

“We must reduce deficit as much as possible, we are better off by having a reduced deficit. I hope that 2013 budget will take that into consideration.”

Items                              Recurrent                        Capital                               Total
Education                       342,698,371,842             66,833,018,506               409531390348

Defence                          314,299,342,619             45,436,143,373               359735485992

Police Formations
and Command               298,817,945,778             9,656,295,375                 308474241153

Health                            224,047,138,337             60,920,219,702               284967358039

Interior                           151,764,423,645             7,558,800,000                 159323223645

Justice                            20,931,396,781               566,124,000                    21497520781

Power                             20,175,819,975               75,464,688,374               95640508349

Petroleum                      50,959,632,961               8,125,710,784                 59085343745

Niger Delta                   2,224,696,942                 80,922,134,484               83146831426

Agriculture                    33,018,117,556               48,191,750,277               81209867833

Water Resources       8,318,500,806                       75,188,411,862           83506912668

Culled from Vanguard news


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More