Senate passes 2020 budget, raises estimates to N10.594trn

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From Kayode Lawal, Abuja

The Senate yesterday at plenary passed the 2020  Budget of N10.594 trillion, as against N10.33trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8, to the joint session of the National Assembly.

The passage followed the consideration and adoption of the budget  report of Senate Committee on Appropriation.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on October 8, presented the 2020 budget proposal of N10.33 trillion  to the  joint session of the National Assembly.

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 5 per cent  to 7.5 per cent

Presenting  the report  of the Appropriation  Committee  at plenary, Committee Chairman, Sen. Barau Jibril, ( APC Kano) 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.

Following clause-by clause consideration of the report, at the Committee of the Whole, the senate having resolved back to plenary passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill.

The lawmakers adopted a daily production rate of 2.18 million barrels, as proposed by the executive.

It, however, adopted 57 dollar oil benchmark as against executive proposal of 55 dollars.

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.

Lawan expressed hope that the implementation of the 2020 budget would be faster, noting that the National Assembly would do well in its oversight  functions.

He said the National Assembly would ensure that Nigerians get what they desire from government.

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