The Nigerian Senate passed the country’s 2020 budget of 34.7 billion dollars (about N10.594 trillion), up from 33.7 billion dollars (about N10.33 trillion) presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The passage of the budget, which took place on Thursday, 5 December 2019, is in line with the new drive by the lawmakers and the executive to return the country’s fiscal year from January to December.
On 8 October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari presented the appropriation bill to the joint session of the National Assembly.
The passage followed the consideration and adoption of the report by Senate Committee on Appropriation.
The budget was accompanied by the Finance Bill, which the President also presented to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.
The budget sought to increase the Federal Government revenue from the estimated revenue for the 2019 fiscal year, while the Finance Bill which had since been passed into law, sought an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from five percent to 7.5 percent.
Presenting the report of the Appropriation Committee at plenary, the Committee Chairman, Sen. Barau Jibril, said the committee adopted the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) as approved by the National Assembly.
He said the committee worked harmoniously with the executive in processing the bill, especially in additional revenue projection to fund critical projects.
He said the increase in the budget was to allow for interventions in areas like national security, road infrastructure, mines and steel development, health, social needs among others.
The lawmakers adopted a daily crude oil production rate of 2.18 million barrels as proposed by the executive.
It, however, adopted a 57-dollar oil benchmark as against the executive proposal of 55 dollars.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, thanked his colleagues for their efforts on the budget, saying the success recorded on the budget was in conjunction with the House of Representatives.
He said the National Assembly has provided the executive what it needed to implement the budget.