Senate May Pass 2019 Appropriation Bill Today


Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate may today pass the 2019 Appropriation Bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 19, 2018.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje who laid the 2019 budget report before the Senate last Wednesday, is expected to formally present the report at plenary today.

After his presentation, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, will lead debate on the bill before the Committee of the Whole will then consider clause-by- clause report of the bill. Passage of the bill today will however, depend on the content of the budget report but THISDAY learnt that all grey areas had been addressed and the Appropriation bill may scale through today.

The Senate had last Wednesday received the 2019 budget report from its Committee on Appropriation.

The committee had a fortnight ago been given up till this week to lay the budget before the upper legislative body.

In line with the Senate directive, Goje (Gombe Central), laid the budget report before the Senate at about 3.35 p.m.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, thereafter adjourned plenary to Wednesday, April 24 (today) to consider the report.

President Buhari had on December 19 unveiled a federal budget proposal of N8.83 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year.

The 2019 total budget estimate is N300 billion lower than the N9.1 billion being implemented for the 2018 fiscal year.

According to Buhari, N4.04 trillion or 50.31 per cent is earmarked for recurrent expenditure and N2.03 trillion, representing 22.98 per cent is for capital projects.

Other estimates are N492.36 billion for statutory transfers, N2.14 trillion for debt servicing and provision of N120 billion as sinking fund.

He explained that the sinking fund would be used to “retire maturing bonds to local contractors”.

The 2019 budget proposal is based on an oil production estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N305 per dollar.

Other benchmarks are real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.01 per cent and inflation rate of 9.98 per cent.

The total projected revenue, according to the president, is N6.97 trillion, which is three per cent lower than the 2018 estimate of N7.17 trillion.

Buhari said the expected income consisted of oil revenue projected at N3.73 trillion, and non-oil revenue estimated at N1.39 trillion.

“The estimate from non-oil revenue consists of N799.52 billion from company income tax; N229.34 billion from value added tax, and customs duties of N302.5 billion.