.Pegs oil benchmark at $62/bbl
The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed the 2022 budget of N17.126 trillion against the N16.391 trillion, which is 4.29% higher than originally presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The passage followed a unanimous adoption of a report laid on the floor of the House during plenary in Abuja by the Chairman, Appropriation Committee, Murktar Betera.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the N17.1 trillion was against the N16.39 trillion that was proposed by the executive.
The House also increased the oil benchmark to $62/barrel against the $52 that was proposed by the executive, while the exchange rate was retained at N410.15
The lawmakers explained that the increase in oil price was to reflect the current market values of the oil barrel in the international market, adding that provision was made for more funds to critical sectors for the purpose of execution of their core mandate.
The House also said the additional revenue increase would be allocated to the agencies that came forward with additional financial reports, which were not provided for in the budget.
The agencies include: Ministry of Works and Housing, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 general elections.
Others are Defence, National Population Commission for the 2022 Population Census, Agriculture and Rural Development, National Security Adviser, National Assembly among others.
NAN also reports that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was put at 4.2%, while inflation was left at 13%.
Commenting, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the passage of the 2022 budget was in keeping with the new tradition of operating an annual national budget from January to December.
He lauded the Chairmen of Committees of the House and all the members who worked hard to ensure that the budget was passed in time to maintain the record it had set.
“In the 9th National Assembly, we have, with each budget cycle, sought to improve the appropriations process to ensure more effective and efficient allocation and use of our national resources.
“A recurring challenge is how best to ensure that the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government adhere strictly to the letter of the appropriation law,” he said.
Gbajabiamila added that this had always been a subject of grave concern, especially when it must contend with the reality of limited resources amid significant developmental challenges.
A recurring challenge is how best to ensure that the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government adhere strictly to the letter of the appropriation law.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the House of Representatives, requesting N277 for virement to fund critical expenditures.
The President said this became necessary because the 2021 budget implementation was faced with challenges, which would require additional funding for some critical and urgent line items in the budget.
He urged the House to urgently consider the virement proposal to support the government effort at improving the wellbeing of the citizenry.
He listed the agencies to benefit to include; Nigeria Air Force, Nigeria Correctional Service, Federal Road Safety Commission, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, National Assembly among others.