By Naomi Sharang, Abuja.
The Senate on Wednesday passed the N21.8 trillion 2023 Budget.
This followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriation at plenary.
Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Jibrin Barau, said that the committee did a thorough job by examining inputs from its sub-committees before reaching the final figure.
“We hereby recommend that the Senate do consider and approve a Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) of the Federation the total sum of N21.8 trillion.
“Of which N967 billion is for Statutory Transfers, N6.5 billion only is for debt service.
“N8.3 trillion is for recurrent (Non-Debt) expenditure.
“While N5.9 trillion is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending December 2023,” he said.
Barau said that the budget was increased from the N20.5 trillion submitted by the Executive by N1.3 trillion.
Barau said that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Oct. 7, laid before a joint sitting of the National Assembly the 2023 Appropriation Bill christened “Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Transition”.
He said that the president had proposed an oil price benchmark of 70 dollars, which was raised to 75 dollars by the National Assembly.
“The Executive proposed an exchange rate of N435.57 to a dollar, while the National Assembly approved same,” he said.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, said that the passage of the budget was in line with the National Assembly’s pledge to revert to the January-December budget cycle.
“This our fourth budget and last before the expiration of our tenure, and we have kept that promise,” he said.
Lawan also urged the executive to strive hard to implement the 2022 supplementary budget.
“We have also passed the Supplementary Budget for 2022. We expect total implementation; no selective implementation,” Lawan said.
The Senate later adjourned plenary until Jan. 17, 2023.