Senate committees commence deliberation over revised 2020 budget

Senate committees commence deliberation over revised 2020 budget

The revised 2020 budget proposal transmitted to the National Assembly by the Executive will undergo consideration by some committees in the Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday, May 21.

In a bid to allay fears due to the two-week Sallah break, the Senate leadership on Wednesday explained the development will not in any way affect deliberations on the revised budget proposal.

1st News had reported that both the Executive and the Legislature last year agreed on reversing the national appropriation to start in January and end in December.

However, the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the economic pulse of the country; which necessitated a budget revision.

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday transmitted the revised budget to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

The new fiscal document was delivered to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, by the presidential aide on National Assembly (Senate); Senator Babajide Omoworare, at the National Assembly on Wednesday, according to insider sources

Furthermore, the Presidential Liaison in the House of Representatives; Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub confirmed the Senate had received the revised 2020 budget and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) from the Executive.

“Yes, it was submitted yesterday (Tuesday). The document was submitted to the House late after the plenary. I submitted it yesterday; but the Senate received theirs today (Wednesday),” he said.

The N10.59 trillion 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly in December last year was slashed to N10.52 trillion; a difference of about N71.5 billion.

In the same vein, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed last week, explained that as the government cut the size of the budget; new expenditures were also added to enable it adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahmed said while the federal government will fund the budget by N5.158 trillion; the deficit from N5.365 trillion will be financed by both domestic and foreign borrowing.

The finance minister stated that the crude oil benchmark price was slashed from US$57 per barrel to US$25 per barrel; while crude oil production benchmark was reduced from 2.18 million barrels per day to 1.9 mbpd.

Lawan had before closing the plenary for the Sallah break assured that the Red Chamber would be ready to consider the revised 2020 budget; if sent to it by the Executive during the break.

He said: “Once we receive the 2020 budget cut from the Presidency in the course of the Sallah break; we will circulate it among all the senators and also give them one or two days to study the document; before we will now reconvene and consider the revised 2020 budget estimates.”

 

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