The Senate has passed the revised 2022 N17.3trillion budget.
The Senate and the House of Representatives also approved N4trillion to fund the petrol subsidy regime in 2022, despite objections from some lawmakers who said the subsidy regime is akin to “funding corruption.”
This translates to an increase of N3.557 trillion – from the N442.72 billion earlier budgeted for.
The lawmakers increased oil benchmark from $62 per barrel to $73 per barrel, and approved that oil production volume increased by 283,000 barrels per day – from 1.883 million barrels per day to 1.600 million barrels per day.
This followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to the lawmakers to make adjustments to the 2022 fiscal framework.
In a letter to the Senate on Tuesday, the president explained that an adjustment to the 2022 fiscal framework became imperative because of new developments in both the global and domestic economies.
The developments, he said, were occasioned by spikes in the market price of crude oil, which were a fallout of the Russia-Ukraine war.
“The decision to suspend the removal of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy at a time when high crude oil prices have elevated the subsidy cost has significantly eroded government revenues”, Buhari said.
During the debate on the floor of parliament, some lawmakers blamed the president for his inability to curb crude oil theft which continues to leave a dent on government revenues, at a time of spike in crude oil prices following the Russia-Ukraine war.
At the Senate
The Senate passed the revised budget following the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriation at Thursday’s plenary.
Presenting the report, Sen. Barau Jibrin, the Chairman of the committee, said that the budget was made up of N7 trillion recurrent expenditure and N5 trillion capital expenditure, while N817 billion was for statutory transfers.
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Jibrin said that N3 trillion of the budget was for debt service.
“Also, the Senate approved the total sum of 3.55 trillion for PMS subsidy in 2022, forwarded in two separate requests by the President to the National Assembly for approval,” he said.
Before the approval of the president’s request, the Senate considered a report by the Senate Committee on Finance.
The Chairman of the Committee, Solomon Olamilekan, noted that the total budget deficit is projected to increase by N965.42 billion to N7.35 trillion, representing 3.99 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that “incremental deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market.”
He therefore recommended that the president’s request be approved.