OrderPaperToday – A bill seeking to amend the 2022 Budget (Appropriation Act) has scaled second reading, on Wednesday in the Senate.
The amendment is seeking to make provision in the sum of N106,161,499,052 for Capital Expenditures and N43,870,592,044 for Recurrent Expenditures without increasing the budget deficit.
This development is sequel to President Muhammadu Buhari‘s request for an additional appropriation of N2.557 trillion naira to fund petrol subsidy in the 2022 Budget Framework which was revised to provide fully for PMS subsidy.
President Buhari had in a letter to the National Assembly dated 10th of February, 2022, underscored the need to remove all capital projects that were replicated in the 2022 Appropriation Act.
He requested that the National Assembly reinstate four capital projects totaling N1.4 billion in the Executive proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; and N22.0 billion cut from the provision for the Sinking Fund to retire mature loans needed to meet government’s obligations under already Issued Bonds
Leading debate on the general principles of the 2022 Appropriations Act Amendment bill, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North), gave key highlights of the amendment to include eleven areas.
These areas include:
- Funding to cushion the impacts of the recent suspension of the Premium Motor Spirit subsidy removal.
- Addressing the adverse implications that some changes made in the 2022 Appropriation Act could have for the successful implementation of the budget.
- Restoring the provisions made for various key projects in the 2022 budget proposal to ensure that critical projects that are cardinal to the administration are implemented and to ensure that those nearing completion do not suffer setbacks due to reduced funding.
- Re-instating the N25.18 billion cut from the provision for the Power Sector Reform Programme.
- Re-instating the four Capital Projects totaling N1.42 billion in the Executive Proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources
- Restoring the N3 billion cut from the provision made for payment of mostly long outstanding Local Contractors’ Debts
- Transferring the National Assembly’s expenditures totaling N16.59 billion in the Service Wide Vote to National Assembly Statutory Transfer provision.
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The Senate Leader added that the amendment also seeks the:
- Reinstatement of the N22.0 billion cut from the provision for Sinking Fund to retire Mature Loans.
- Reinstatement of cuts made from provisions for the recurrent spendings of Nigeria’s Foreign Missions.
- Restoration of reductions in provisions for allowances payable to personnel of the Nigerian Navy and Police Formations and Commands and
- Removal of all capital projects that were replicated in the 2022 Appropriation Act; following the identification of 139 out of 254 such projects totaling N3.24 billion for deletion from the budget.
In his contributions, Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue North East) bemoaned the high tax expenditure in the 2022 budget, adding that tax expenditures are waivers that are given to individuals or companies.
He noted that tax expenditure in 2022 is about N1 trillion which is totally unnecessary.
The bill was thereafter referred to the Committee on Appropriation to report back in one week after it scaled second reading.