By Naomi Sharang, Abuja.
The Senate has passed the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill of N819.5 billion.
The consideration and approval of the budget followed the presentation of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill during plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Bill is titled: “A Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) the total sum of N819, 536,937,813 for the year ending March 31, 2023.
Presenting the report, the Chairman of the joint committee, Sen. Jibrin Barau, recalled that the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill of N819, 536,937,813, all of which entailed Capital Expenditure, was read the first time on Dec. 21.
“The Senate subsequently read the bill the second time and referred it to the Appropriation Committee, in conjunction with Committees on Agriculture and Rural Development; Works and Housing; and Water Resources for further legislative action,” he said.
Barau said that the bill sought to, among other things, make available additional funds to cushion the effects of the 2022 flood on road infrastructure, agriculture, water infrastructure, and finance the completion of some ongoing critical projects that had reached about 85 per cent completion.
He said that the supplementary bill would be financed through additional domestic borrowings, which would raise the 2022 budget to N8.17 trillion only, and Deficit/GDP to 4.43 per cent.
He said that the committee observed that the effects of the 2022 flood across the country and its attendant consequences on roads, bridges, farmlands and the water sector necessitated the supplementary bill request.
Barau said: “Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) involved in the Supplementary Appropriation Bill requests are Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, and Federal Ministry of Water Resources”.
The chairman said that the committee recommended that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should get N69, 247,175, 770.
According to him, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is to get N704,789,762, 043, while Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will get N30,000,000,000.
“Federal Ministry of Water Resources is to get N15, 500, 000, 000, he added”.
Contributing, Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi) said that the budget would be of benefit to all the nook and cranny of the country.
“The projects will help in guaranteeing security and ensuring the socio-economic development of rural areas,” he said.
However, Sen. Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno) said: “My worry is that this is the reality of what we are doing today.
“It is today that this Senate has considered to extend the budget by 90 days.
“This budget, even if approved, how realistic is it going to be? By the time we process this and the due process that is required in budget implementation for contract execution cannot be circumvented.
“If that is the case, assuming we pass it today, we have 90 days to implement.
“If it is agreed that some of these monies have to be spent within 90 days. It is not possible; let us not deceive ourselves.
“We should amend the 2023 budget to take care of these projects. so that they will have 12 months of implementation.”
The supplementary budget was, thereafter, approved and passed.