The Senate on Thursday passed the sum of N10.810trillion as revised 2020 budget.
There was however drama as the Senate had earlier passed the sum of N10.805trillion before it reversed itself and increased it to N10.810 trillion.
The adjustment of the estimate followed a motion moved by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West).
Adeola explained that the difference of $3 between the oil benchmark price of $28 recommended and the $25 proposed by the executive which amounted to N5.256billon, was erroneously omitted from the aggregate expenditure in the Bill by the National Assembly’s Joint Committees on Appropriation while considering the revised budget proposal.
According to him, from the N5.256billion
expected as additional revenue from the increased oil price, N1.746billion was added to the statutory votes of N44.200billion proposed votes for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He added that N816million from the amount was also added to the N20.944billion proposed for the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
Others are: N1.709billion to the N51.120billion voted for the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and N897million added to the N25.560billion proposed for the Basic Health Care Fund.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter to both chambers of the National Assembly, requested the members to review the 2020 appropriation of N10.509trillion.
The revised budget figure for the 2020 fiscal year is now N10.810 trillion, representing an increase of N301 billion.
While Statutory Transfers was increased from N398.505billion to N428.033. This amounted to the N301billion added to the proposal.
The proposed 1.9 million barrel per day oil production was reduced to 1.8mbpd in the revised Bill.
However other highlights of the revised budget forwarded to NASS by President Buhari two weeks ago like the N2.951trillion for Debt Servicing and the N500billion intervention fund for COVID-19 were retained.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the 9th Senate has approved $28billion (N10.08 trillion) for President Muhammadu Buhari, in the last one year.
He said the Senate considered the need to support the government raise the necessary funds for national development on which basis the requests for approval to borrow, both from the domestic and foreign sources were made.
“We have approved foreign loans of about $28 billion in the last one year. We had ensured proper scrutiny for the desired projects and programmes of government, the conditions of the facilities; before approving such borrowing requests. The task ahead of us is to ensure tracking, monitoring and supervision of how the loans are applied. We must ensure that the target projects remain, and that there is value for money also,” Lawan said