Senate steps down 2019 Budget passage until April 30
The Senate on Wednesday stepped down consideration and passage of the 2019 Appropriation Bill until April 30.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, who made the announcement at plenary, said the postponement was to allow the Senate Committee on Appropriation to distribute copies of the budget to lawmakers to study.
He said, “some members have not got printed copies of the details and I have directed the Clerk to make sure that latest Monday we all have printed copies. This is so that everybody can see the details of the budget, so we can pass it on Tuesday.”
Saraki noted that the move was to avoid passing the budget without the lawmakers going through the details, in order to make necessary observations if any.
“So, Clerk, ensure that everybody has copies of the details by Monday so we will pass it on Tuesday,” he said.
Though the passage of the 2019 appropriation bill was postponed till Tuesday, April 30, it was listed on the Order Paper of Wednesday plenary.
The 2019 appropriation bill of N8.83 trillion was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Dec.19, 2018.
Debate on the general principles of the bill by the national assembly was delayed due to conduct of the recently concluded general elections.
The bill was thereafter laid in plenary on April 17 by the Senate Committee on Appropriation after failing to meet several deadlines for its submission with the hope that it would be passed on April 24.
The 2019 budget estimate is N300 billion lower than the N9.1 billion being implemented for the current fiscal year.
The budget is based on an oil production estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar.
It is also based on real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.01 per cent and inflation rate of 9.98 per cent.
The budget deficit is projected to decrease to N1.86 trillion or 1.3 per cent of the GDP in 2019 from N1.95 trillion projected for 2018 among other projections.(NAN)