Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has passed for third reading a N10.805 trillion revised budget for 2020 fiscal year.
The revised budget is about N300 billion higher than that initially proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari and about N211 billion higher than the 2020 Appropriation Law passed by the National Assembly in December, 2019.
The National Assembly had last December passed a N10. 594 trillion budget for the 2020 fiscal year. However, following the effects of the COVID -19 pandemic on the economy, President Buhari sent a revised budget of N10.509 trillion to the National Assembly last month.
The revised appropriation law is titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Appropriation Act, 2020 to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N10,805,544,664,642” was passed after it was subjected to a clause by clause consideration at the Committee of Supply jointly chaired by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and his deputy, Idris Wase.
A breakdown of the budget indicated that N422.77 billion was allocated for statutory transfers and N2.951 trillion for debt service.
Also, the sum N4.938 trillion was allocated to recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while N2.488 trillion is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure.
For statutory transfers, the National Judicial Council took N110 billion, Niger-Delta Development Commission N44.200 billion, Universal Basic Education N51.120 billion and National Assembly gulped N128 billion.
Also, Public Complaints Commission took N4.700 billion;Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), N36 billion;National Human Right Commission, N2.250 billion; North East Development Commission N20.944 billion while Basic Health Care Fund got N25.560 billion.
Out of the N2.951 trillion allocation for debt service, domestic debts got N1. 873 trillion, foreign debts took N805. 470 billion and sinking fund to retire maturing loans was allocated N272. 900 billion.
Similarly, the Ministry of Works and Housing; Ministry of Power; Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Defence got N265,868; N039,092; N128, 005, N929, 363; N75,173, N387,778; N51,402,884; N613 and N115, 873,903710 respectively, as capital expenditure.
The House also approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $5.513 billion to finance the deficit in the 2020 budget.
A breakdown of the loan indicated that that $3,400,000,000 would be borrowed from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for rapid financing instrument; $1,500.000,000 from the World Bank for development policy financing; $500, 000, 000 from the African Development Bank for COVID-19 crises response budget support operation and $113, 000,000 from the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) to part finance the 2020 revised budget deficit.