Reps Increase Next Year’s Budget By N735.850bn
The House of Representatives yesterday passed the 2022 budget estimates submitted by the President Muhammadu Buhari on October 10 with an increase of N735, 850,000,000.
The Senate, however, failed to pass the budget, adjourning plenary to today.
The House also extended the life span of the 2021 budget for an additional three months ending March 31, 2022, following a motion to that effect by the Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano).
Doguwa said the extension of the life span was to allow funds to be made available from the 2021 budget for capital expenditure for projects captured in the budget as funding of such projects were hampered during the year.
The lawmakers passed a budget of N17,126,873,917,692 from the 2022 fiscal year as against the N16,391,023,917,692 brought to the parliament by the President.
The lawmakers allocated N219 billion to the Independent National Electoral Commission, N139 billion to the National Assembly , N102 billion to the Niger Delta Development Commission and N120 billion to the National Judicial Council.
The sum of N3.6 trillion is allocated for debt servicing in 2022, with domestic debt taking a chunk of N2.5 trillion
The budget as passed by both the House of Representatives consist of N869.667 billion as Statutory Transfer, N3.879 trillion for Debt Servicing, N6.909 trillion for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure and N5.467 trillion.
Presenting the report for consideration on the floor of the House, the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Rep. Mukthar Betara, said all Committees of the House were directed not to tamper with the N1,153.823,207,500 Multilateral/Bi-Lateral Project-tied Loans in the capital component of the proposed budget during their deliberations and consideration.
Betara said the increase in the budget was expected to provide additional revenue increase to the agencies that came forward with additional financial report which was not provided for in the budget.
The agencies, he said, include Works and Housing, INEC (for 2023 General Elections), Defence, National Population Commission (NPC) – for 2022 Population Census, Agriculture and Rural Development, National Security Adviser (NSA), National Assembly (Constituency Outreach) Education, Humanitarian, Water Resources, etc.
He said the requests would take care of critical infrastructural deficit for purposes of national development improvement and acceleration.
While maintaining daily oil production at the 1.88mbpd as presented by the President, the lawmakers increased oil price benchmark from the 57 dollars per barrel to 62 dollars per barrel while also maintaining the exchange rate at N410.15 to the dollar,
They also maintained GDP Growth Rate 4.2% and an Inflation Rate 13% as presented by the President.
Betara said the decision to increase the oil price benchmark was aimed at making more funds available to critical sectors for the purposes of execution of their core mandate, and the need for stimulation of the economy through increased capital expenditure; such as will make for infrastructural development, in order to meet the yearnings of the people.
He explained that provision was also made for an increase in revenue to Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and independent revenue of the MDAs by N400 Billion as a result of the independent report received from the investigation carried out on all Government agencies by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) and the various Committees of the National Assembly, in their Oversight roles.
He explained further that the lawmakers also make provision for an increase in deficit by N98 billion to accommodate some other requests of National importance not provided for in the budget estimates and which could not be covered by the revenue increase.
The law authorised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) to change and defray from all monies standing in credit to the units as revenues or penalties or sanctions at 10% for technical setup and operational cost at the units.
It also authorised Nigeria’s foreign missions to expend funds allocated to them under the Capital Components without having to seek the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The House also passed into law, the Finance bill which is expected to guide the implementation of the 2022 budget.
The House also passed a total budget size of N215,811,290,243 for the Federal Inland Revenue for the Fiscal Year 2022.
House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the legislature need to act fast to address the envelope system of budgeting which has made Ministries, Department and Agency of government run cap in hand looking for more money for their expenses.
He also said the lawmakers may soon begin to merging of MDAs with overlapping responsibilities, while scrapping those whose existence is no longer relevant.
He said: “This is a subject of grave concern, especially now when we must contend with the reality of limited resources amid significant developmental challenges. Therefore, in the new year, the House of Representatives will explore further options for legislative action in this regard.”