By: Joy Odor/Abuja
National Assembly, yesterday, passed the 2019 budget, but increased its projected revenue size by N90 billion with the passage of N8.916 trillion as against N8.826 trillion earlier proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The N90 billion increased in the budget profile as stated in separate reports presented to that effect by Chairmen of Appropriation Committees at both chambers, include N23.678 billion added as severance gratuity for outgoing federal lawmakers and their legislative aides.
Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Senate , Senator Danjuma Goje, APC-Gombe Central, explained that the N23.678 billion severance package for outgoing legislators also included induction programme/inauguration of the Ninth Assembly.
Also part of the N90 billion added to the entire aggregate expenditure of the budget is the N10 billion intervention fund approved for tackling of current humanitarian crisis in Zamfara State while the balance of about N66 billion are additional votes appropriated for the various security agencies for more potent wars against all forms of crimes in the land.
Senator Goje explained further that in implementing the just approved N30,000 minimum wage for public servants , the N160billion proposed as service wide votes was appropriated for, under the Public Service wage adjustment for Ministries , Department and Agencies, MDAs
However, as recommended by the Committees and approved by both chambers, all the parameters upon which the budget estimates are based were retained.
The parameters are $60 per barrel oil price bench mark, 2.3 million barrel per day production level , N350 to one U S dollar as exchange rate.
Major highlights of the N8.916 trillion 2019 budget passed by the National Assembly are N502.058 billion for Statutory Transfers, N500 billion for Special Intervention and N4.055trillion for recurrent expenditure
Others are N2.094 trillion for Capital expenditure, N1.908 trillion as fiscal deficit within the ambit of 1.37% deficit to GDP, Gross Domestic Product.
In his remarks after passing the Appropriation Bill for third reading, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki said: “With passage of this bill for third reading today, the executive must ensure full implementation of the budget , sector by sector for the benefit and well being of Nigerians.