Following the presentation of the joint Committee on Appropriations and Finance report to the Senate as well as that of the House of Representatives, the nation’s budget in the tune of N7.441 has been passed into law.
Presenting the report to the Senate, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje highlighted that the figure which was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in December, 2016.
“That Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Appropriations on the 2017 Appropriation Bill,” Goje submitted.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu was emphatic about the availability of copies of budget document with details, saying such made it unique. He stressed that it made it different from past processes.
“This is the first time that copies of bills was made available with its details and I think there is a difference compared to the past ones.”
He revealed that consultation through public hearing did simplify it, while asking that the approach as it were, should be sustained.
“There were lot of consultation between the legislature and executive and even the public hearing where civil society organisations were involved made it possible for the consideration.”
“We have moved from budget circle from January to May and hopefully we will move it to January so that budget proposal can be coming in December of every year.”
He also commended Nigerians for showing understanding and support during the budget process, noting that the legislature was aware of their curiosity.
Senator George Akume, however, decried that his Senatorial zone was not adequately captured in road construction, saying he will make sure that the 2018 budget addresses it.
Shehu Sani on his part, was optimistic that the budget would address socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
After various contributions, the Senate retired to the Committee of the whole to pass the budget.
Meanwhile, the oil benchmark upon which the budget was structured was 44.5 dollar per barrel on a production of 2.2 million barrels per day.
An economic analyst who spoke with DAILY POST in Abuja explained that, “We have the highest budget in Nigeria’s democratic history, but the determinant factor to the implementation of the budget would be high rate of local currency to dollars.”
He said that the purchasing power has been weakened compared to the impact the huge sum would have been on the nation’s economy.