By Haruna Gimba
The Nigerian Senate has on Tuesday passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N8.196 trillion.
Health Reporters gathered that the budget passed is N86 billion higher than the proposal of N8.83 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly for the 2019 fiscal year.
The lawmakers passed the bill during Tuesday’s plenary after considering the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations on the 2019 Appropriation Bill presented by Senator Muhammad Danjuma Goje.
A breakdown of the budget estimate reveals that statutory transfer is N502.58 billion, N2.25 trillion is for debt servicing, recurrent expenditure gets N4.65 trillion, and N2.94 trillion is earmarked for capital expenditure.
Following the consideration of the report submitted by Senator Goje, the lawmakers resolved to approve the total sum of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
They also adopted the recommendation of the Appropriations Committee which proposed that N10 billion be added to the service-wide votes to support the victims of crises in Zamfara State.
Thereafter, the Senate dissolved into the Committee of Supply for the consideration of the 2019 Appropriation Bill The bill was then read the third time and passed by the lawmakers.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, commended his colleagues for the efforts that led to the passage of the bill and called for its complete implementation by the Executive.
He said, “I want to thank our colleagues, particularly for their understanding and for us to be able to meet today’s deadline in passing the bill and (I) thank the Committee on Appropriation too.”
“I hope that with this budget passed, the Executive will also ensure the full implementation of the budget for the benefit of Nigerians as a whole,” Senator Saraki added.
It would be recall that President Buhari presented the 2019 budget proposal to the joint session of the National Assembly on December 19, 2019.