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Reps jerks up 2020 budget to N10.59 trillion, may pass appropriation bill Thursday

The House of Representatives has increased the 2020 budget estimates from N10.33 trillion to N10.59 trillion, making about N260 billion addition.

The increase is contained in the 2020 budget defence report laid before the House of Representatives Wednesday by the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, Muktar Batara.

The report as presented before the House read: “A Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N10,594,362,364,830 (Ten Trillion, Five Hundred and Ninety-Four Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty – Two Million, Three Hundred and Sixty – Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty Naira) only of which N 560,470,827,235 (Five Hundred and Sixty Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirty – Five Naira) only, is for Statutory Transfers.

“N2,725,498,930,000 (Two Trillion, Seven Hundred and Twenty – Five Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety – Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Naira) only, is for Debt Service, N 4,842,974,600,640 (Four Trillion, Eight Hundred and Forty – Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy -Four Million, Six Hundred Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Naira) only, is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure.

“The sum of N 2,465,418,006,955 (Two Trillion, Four Hundred and Six-Five Billion, Four Hundred and Eighteen Million, Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty – Five Naira) only, is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on 31 December 2019”.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had proposed an aggregate expenditure of N10.33 trillion for the Federal Government in 2020, comprising statutory transfers of N556.7 billion, non-debt recurrent expenditure of N4.88 trillion and N2.14 trillion of capital expenditure (excluding the capital component of statutory transfers).

The budget estimates presented by Buhari pegged Debt service at N2.45 trillion and put a provision for Sinking Fund to retire maturing bonds issued to local contractors at N296 billion.

Following the laying of the budget defence report by the Appropriation Committee, the House of Representatives may pass the 2020 budget this Thursday, according to parliamentary practice.

Ideally, upon receiving a report of budget defence, the House at the next sitting considers the report through the Committee of Supply Chaired by the Speaker and eventually passes the budget.

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