Over the past few weeks, many Nigerians have been expressing concerns about whether President Goodluck Jonathan would sign the 2015 budget before his tenure as president expires on May 29. Punch confirms that he has indeed signed the 2015 Appropriation Bill into law.
He reportedly did the signing about two weeks ago.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, is said to have confirmed that Jonathan had signed the budget. But he gave no explanation about why the signing was not made public.
The report further states:
The Senate had passed the 2015 budget on April 28, following the passage of the same bill by the House of Representatives on April 23, with an expenditure outlay of N4.493 trillion, up from the N4.425 trillion proposed by the Executive.
The Senate, in passing the budget, slightly reduced the N2.607,601, 000,300 proposed by the Executive to N2.607,132,491,708 as recurrent expenditure and simultaneously scaled down the capital expenditure from N642,848,999,699 estimated in the proposal to N556,995,465,449.
The Chairman, Joint Senate Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Mohammed Maccido, explained that the details of the figure approved by the Senate in the document were not different from the version passed by the House of Representatives.
He added that the budget would be driven by $53 oil benchmark, an exchange rate of N190 to one US dollar; 2.2782m per barrel crude oil production per day; and a deficit gross domestic product of -1.12 per cent.
The budget also put fiscal deficit at N1.075tn; N953bn for debt service; N375.6bn as statutory transfers.
Education takes the lion’s share of the budget with N392.3 billion; followed by the military which gets N338.7 billion while police commands and formations will receive N303.8 billion.
In the same vein, N237 billion was voted for the health sector; N153 billion for the Ministry of Interior while N25.1 billion was budgeted for the Ministry of Works.