Document Shows N’ Assembly Increased 2020 Budget by N393.8bn

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  • Education, Defence, NSA, Agric, FCTA, Works top gainers

Tobi Soniyi and Chineme Okafor in Abuja

Members of the National Assembly increased the spending plans of the various ministries and departmental agencies of the federal government in the 2020 budget by N393,863,863,915, a document obtained saturday by THISDAY has disclosed.

According to the budget document, in some cases the parliamentarians increased the expenditure plans of the government agencies by twofold, giving agencies such as the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) twice its initial budgeted sum.

Although the document did not state the reasons for the parliamentary largesse, it however disclosed that top beneficiaries were the ministries of education, science and technology, defence, agriculture, labour and productivity.

The ministries of health, water resources, works and housing, as well as the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) also got extra money allocated to them by the parliamentarians.

President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8, 2019, presented the 2020 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The budget was accompanied by the Finance Bill which Buhari presented for consideration and passage into law.

The 2020 budget was initially N10.33 trillion but the parliamentarians raised it to N10.50 trillion.

It was also based on an estimated oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel, oil production estimate of 2.18 million barrels per day (mbd) and an exchange rate of N305 to a United States dollar.

The president subsequently signed the budget into law last week after the parliamentarians on December 5, 2019, passed it.

A breakdown of the budget showed that N560,470,827,235 was budgeted for statutory transfer; N2,725,498,930,000 for debt servicing; N4,842,974,600,640 for recurrent expenditure; N2,465,418,006,955 for capital expenditure; and N2.28 trillion for fiscal deficit.

Furthermore, the document showed that the parliamentarians added N2,155,332,460 to the expenditure plan of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development; N3 billion to the National Assembly; N500 million to the Public Complaints Commission; and N270 million to the North East Development Commission.

Additional N300 million and another N6 billion were added to the budget of the presidency in different places; N6 billion and N16 billion to the ministry of defence in separate sheets; N250 million and N2 billion to the ministry of foreign affairs; and N2 billion to the NSA which also got another N25 billion budget largesse.

The ministry of education got N100 million and N33 billion; N274 million and N13 billion to the ministry of health; N2.7 billion to the ministry of information; and N150 million to the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF).

A N2.6 billion largesse was extended to the ministry of police affairs, just as the NSA got another N5.5 billion and the SGF got twice its original request – N12.5 billion.

The ministry of special duties had its budget extended by N596 million and the ministry of agriculture got N44.6 billion extension on its budget. The budget of the finance ministry was increased by N150 million while that of labour and productivity had N12.8 billion added to it.

For the ministry of science and technology, its 2020 budget was raised by N25.3 billion; the ministry of power had its own upped by N1.4 billion while that of the ministry of mines and steel was boosted with N3 billion.

The largest budgetary boost was seen in that of the ministry of works and housing with N56.3 billion; water resources had N13.3 billion; justice was N166 million and the FCTA had N33.9 billion added to their budgets.

In the budget of the ministry of youths and sports, it was N1 billion added while that of women affairs had N3.7 billion and environment, N2.7 billion.

The humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development ministry had another N6.6 billion added in its budget.

The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Nigeria (OSSAP-SDGs) had N9 billion; N8.5 billion and N7 billion added to its budget.

The document also showed a N20 billion added to the budget as ‘special intervention fund’, N1 billion for constitution review and N500 million captured as expenditure for ‘CPA’. The parliamentarians equally included N1.5 billion for intervention in Zamfara, Katsina and Borno in addition to N2 billion for National Assembly library and N2.5 billion for digitization of archival for the Supreme Court.