The joint session of the National Assembly has passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N7.44 trillion, instead of the N7.28 trillion hitherto proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Appropriations Committees of both chambers had separately presented their reports of the budget for consideration and eventual passage on Thursday.
In the report, N434.4 billion was set aside for statutory transfers to the National Judicial Council N100 billion; Niger Delta Development Commission (N64.02 billion); Universal Basic Education (N95.2 billion); National Assembly (N125 billion); Public Complaints Commission (N4 billion); INEC (N45 billion); and National Human Rights Commission (N1.2 billion).
Meanwhile, as the 2016 budget closes, Federal Ministry of Finance has released details of the N1.2 trillion capital releases made. In line with Government’s increased focus on capital expenditure, the following releases were made.
Power, Works and Housing received the largest allocation of N307,411,749,682, followed by Defence and Security, N171,900,597,013 and Transport and Aviation, N143,121,925,241.
Other sectors were Agriculture and Water Resources; and Education and Health. These sectors accounted for 62 per cent of total capital released. We have focused our capital spend on priority sectors to stimulate economic activities and job creation.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said: “Despite the challenges in 2016, the Federal Government was able to achieve fully cash-backed capital releases of N1.2 trillion, which is a reflection of our commitment to infrastructure development.”
These capital releases exclude the capital element in releases to statutory agencies such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Judiciary.
“As we go forward, the Government intends to attract private capital to compliment Government spending in these key areas”, she said.