Following the adoption of its Committee on Appropriation at plenary on Wednesday, the Senate has approved the N21.8 trillion as Appropriation Bill for the 2023 fiscal year.
While presenting the report, Committee Chairman, Senator Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North), noted that the committee did a thorough job examining inputs from its sub-committees before reaching the final figure. The Kano lawmaker further stated that the budget was raised N1.3 trillion from the N20.5 trillion submitted by the Executive.
In his words, “we hereby recommend that the Senate do consider and approve a Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) of the Federation the total sum of N21.8 trillion.
Of which N967 billion is for Statutory Transfers, N6.5 billion only is for debt service. N8.3 trillion is for recurrent (Non-Debt) expenditure. While N5.9 trillion for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending December 2023.”
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Senator Barau recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had, on October 7, 2022, in laying the 2023 Appropriation Bill tagged ‘Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Transition’.before the National Assembly, proposed an oil price benchmark of 70 dollars, which the parliament raised to 75 dollars. He also said that the Executive proposed an exchange rate of N435.57 to a dollar and the National Assembly approved the same.
According to the lawmaker, a sum of N744.11 billion was earmarked for Statutory Transfers, Non-Debt Recurrent Costs stood at N8.27 trillion and Personnel Costs at N4.99 trillion.
Also, Pensions, Gratuities, and Retirees’ benefits stand at N854.8 billion, Overheads of N1.11 trillion, Capital Expenditure is N5.35 trillion, including the capital component of statutory transfers and Sinking Fund of N247.73 billion to retire certain maturing bonds and Debt Service cost stood at N6.31 trillion.
According to the 2023 Appropriation Bill, the total revenue available to fund the budget for the year was estimated at N9.73 trillion, leaving a deficit of N10.78 trillion, representing 4.78% of the nation’s GDP and higher than the 3% threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
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In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, mentioned that the passage of the budget was in line with the National Assembly’s pledge to reverT to the January – December budget cycle.
“This is our fourth budget and last before the expiration of our tenure and we have kept that promise,” Lawan said, while urging the executive to strive hard in its implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Budget. He stated that the Senate expect total implementation and not selective implementation.
The Senate thereafter, proceeded on recess to resume plenary on January 17th, 2023.