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2019 budget passes second reading in Senate

The Senate on Tuesday passed the 2019 appropriation bill of N8.82 trillion for second reading. The budget totaling, N8,826,636,578,915 has a recurrent expenditure of N4 trillion while N2 trillion goes for capital expenditure with N2.2 trillion and N492 billion for debt servicing and statutory transfers respectively.

Reacting to the details of the budget, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said, with a total debt service of 25.7% and capital budget at 23%, it means we are paying more debt. This is a budget of impossibilities. Out of every 1 Naira, 68kobo is paid out. He also said that the Federal Government needs to go back to the drawing board.

Senator Mao Ohuabunwa said, they are consolidating poverty.  And that they need to really look at this budget. Instead of reducing, we should ‘jack up’ the budget by 10 trillion. What can two trillion do when we have ongoing projects? We need to block leakages and ensure taxes are collected.”

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Speaking at the end of deliberations, Senate President, Bukola Saraki said, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done concerning the issue of the actual capital expenditure. He also added that there is a need for them to continue to plug the leakages and independent revenue. The most important issue now is for them to see how they can complete the process.

The budget has been referred to the Committee on Appropriation and they are expected to report back in two weeks.

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