Reps announce date for passage of 2022 budget

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The 2022 Appropriation Bill will be passed on 15 December in keeping with January-December fiscal cycle, the Chairman House Committee on Appropriations, Muktar Betara (APC, Borno), has said.

The committee met on Thursday to discuss legislative steps to be taken on the bill after it was passed for second reading.

The House had referred the N16.39 trillion budget to the committee, following the two days debate on the general principle of the bill.

At the meeting on Thursday, Mr Betara announced that the public hearings on the bill will commence on Monday, and all the members of the committee will be issued guidelines on the process.

Under the rule of the parliament, when the money bill (budget) is at the committee stage, all standing committees become subcommittees of the appropriation committee.

All the standing committees are to submit their reports to the appropriations committee, which will, in turn, submit a final report to the House.

Mr Betara said all subcommittees (Standing Committees) will be given two weeks to work on the budget before submitting their reports to the appropriation committee, as the House is targeting the 15 December for the consideration of the report.

“It is two weeks that we are giving committees and after, they will return the budgets to us and we will work on them for two weeks again before we pass the budget.

“In our timetable, we are proposing to lay the budget by 14th of December. We (the committee) will lay (it) on the 14th and we (the House) will consider it on the 15th of December. If it is considered by the 15th, we will close the House by 16th. So, as committee members, this time around, we have a lot of work to do. The (standing) committees that are assigned to you, look at their submissions very well.”

He said money will not be deducted from the recurrent expenditure or added to it, noting that recurrent is fixed.

“With the issue of recurrent, specifically we are more careful with the recurrent. No money should be taken from recurrent to capital or from capital to recurrent. The recurrent is a fixed amount, except where it becomes necessary,” he said.

Mr Betara said there were some issues that arose during the consideration of the 2021 budget and that the committee will avoid those issues.

“What we have decided this time around, as a parliament; in the last budget, we had some issues but we had to sit with the Ministry of Finance and Budget Planning to resolve a lot of these issues,” he said.

2022 budget

The budget was presented to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari last week Thursday.

The budget is based on the $57 per barrel oil price benchmark at daily production of 1.8 million barrels per day and with an official exchange rate at N410.15 to a dollar.

There has been clamour by several lawmakers to increase the benchmark to $60 per barrel to reduce the deficit in the budget. During the two days debate, some of the lawmakers raised issues with the deficit in that proposed budget.

The overall deficit in the budget is N6.26 trillion, which is 3.39 per cent of GDP. According to the government, the deficit will be financed through borrowing. Domestic sources: N2.51 trillion, foreign sources: N2.51 trillion, multilateral and bilateral loan drawdown: N1.6 trillion and proceeds from privatization; N90.7 bn.

The breakdown of the budget is as follows: statutory transfer, N768.27 billion; debt servicing, N3.6 trillion; sinking fund N292.72 billion; recurrent component, N6.8 trillion; intervention, N350 billion and capital component, N5.3 trillion.

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