Senate Holds 2018 Budget Debate Next Week

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate has scheduled the debate on the 2018 N8.6 trillion Appropriation bill for November 22- 23, 2017.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, made the announcement at plenary yesterday and added that lawmakers should indicate which of the two days they would like to contribute.

Saraki also said copies of the document would be made available to the lawmakers before the commencement of the debate.
Also speaking on the budget, Senate spokesman, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, who briefed newsmen, said work on the appropriation bill and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, would be done simultaneously.

“It is all intertwined. We are bringing all of them together that same week (next week). Already, we already had a meeting on the MTEF and we are working on it,” he said.

Abdullahi said the MTEF would be passed before the budget, as required by law.
“Of course, but this one (debate on budget) is just for us to commit it to the committees. The debate is for the second reading. That does not stop anything. By the time we will be finishing (with budget defence sessions), MTEF report would have been laid an everything would have been cleared. This is our innovation,” he added.

The 2018 Appropriation bill tagged budget of consolidation, comprises of N2.428 trillion for capital expenditure (30 per cent), N3.494 trillion estimated for Recurrent Costs, N2.014 trillion for Debt Servicing, N456 billion for Statutory Transfers, and Sinking Fund of N220 billion (to retire maturing bond to Local Contractors).

The key parameters and assumptions for the 2018 Budget proposal are set out in the yet to be approved 2018-2020 MTEF. These include benchmark oil price of US$45 per barrel, oil production estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day, including condensates, exchange rate of N305/US$ for 2018, real GDP growth of 3.5 per cent and inflation rate of 12.4 per cent.

The estimated total revenue for N2018 is N6.607 trillion,(30 per cent more than the 2017 target) while projected oil revenue is N 2.442 trillion and N4.165 trillion for non- oil revenue projection. The projected deficit in the 2018 budget estimate is N2.005 trillion Naira indicating 1.77 per cent of GDP.

Nnewi for hearing.