Vice President Osinbajo with cabinet Ministers and others at the 2019 budget signing by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the 2019 Appropriation bill of N8.91 trillion into law as passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly.

The signing of the Bill is coming more than three weeks the National Assembly sent a clean copy of the budget to the President for his assent.

The legislators were unable to consider the Budget passage owing to the Christmas and New Year vacation as well as the 2019 General Elections.

The signing of the Appropriation Bill into law by the President signals the commencement of budget implementation for the 2019 fiscal year.

A breakdown of the 2019 budget as approved by the Lawmakers showed that capital expenditure will gulp about N2.09 trillion with recurrent expenditure taking the lion share of N4.05 trillion.

Others include statutory transfers of N502 billion; fiscal deficit of N1.9 trillion and N500 billion as special intervention funds.

Also approved and highlighted by the lawmakers is the sum of N2.25 trillion for debt servicing. Of this figure, N1.7 trillion will be channeled to tackle domestic debts, while the sum of N433bn is provided to settle the foreign component of Nigeria’s current debts.

Equally, N110 billion is approved as a sinking fund to retire maturing debt obligations by the government

Dignitaries at the budget-signing ceremony that held at the President’s mini-conference hall in the Aso Villa were the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

Also at the event were Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari; Ministers of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma; Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

Others are Chairman, SPresidentmittee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang and his House of Representatives’ counterpart, Umar El-Yakub.

The Presidential assent is coming weeks after the National Assembly completed its work and passed the bill into law.

The President had on December 19, 2018 submitted the 2019 budget of N8.83trillion to both chambers of the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

However, the Lawmakers upped the proposals by about N90.3 billion to bring the figure to the current N8.92 trillion.


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