Nigeria’s senate on Thursday passed the adjusted 2020 budget. The estimate was raised by N216bn from N10.594tn to N10.81tn amid dwindling oil prices.
The passage followed the consideration of the report of the Committee on the Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2020.
It also approved $28bn loan for President Muhammadu Buhari within a year, Senate President Ahmad Lawan has disclosed.
In a speech to mark his first anniversary in office, the presiding officer said the facilities were sanctioned to fund major projects.
He stated: “To support and enable the government raise the necessary funds for national development, there were requests for approval to borrow, both from the domestic and foreign sources. We have approved foreign loans of about $28bn in the last one year. We had ensured proper scrutiny for the desired projects and programmes of government and the conditions of the facilities before approving the requests.”
Lawan reiterated the commitment of the red chamber in ensuring that the loans were judiciously deployed.
Breakdown of the budget shows that of the N10,810,800,872,072 to be disbursed from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, N428,032,186,792 is for statutory transfers; N2,951,710,000,000 goes for debt servicing; N4,942,269,251,934 for recurrent expenditure and N2,488,789,433,344 for capital expenditure.
Because the revised financial plan is to be largely financed from a huge external loan, the vote for budget service increased from N2,725,498,930 to N2. 95tn.
The budget deficit also rose from N2.28tn to N4.17tn.
The document is predicated on oil production of 1.8m barrels per day and a benchmark of $28 per barrel.
The official exchange rate was also adjusted upward to N360/$1.
In passing the revised financial document, the legislative chamber explained that “the total aggregate recommended sum is higher than the proposed figure because of the accommodation of the request by the executive for additional funding for COVlD-19 to strengthen the capacity of all the states of the federation to tackle the challenges of the pandemic, contingency and GAVI/immunisation and the restoration/upward adjustments of important and people-oriented projects and programmes that were in the 2020 Appropriation Act but were either completely removed or substantially reduced in the bill.”