The National Assembly on Tuesday received the report of Joint Appropriations Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the 2018 budget estimates.
The Chairman of the Senate committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, laid the report before the Senate in plenary, six months after it was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate and House of Representatives had promised to pass the budget on April 24, but failed to do so.
There were assurances that the budget would be passed in the first week of May but it was not passed.
The Senate had on several occasions accused Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of not keeping to appointments with the various standing committees to defend their budgets.
The development prompted the Senate President , Dr Bukola Saraki, to mandate the Appropriation Committee to tidy up reports on the budget latest by April 13.
With this development, the January to December budget cycle would not be obtainable with the 2018 budget.
Buhari had on November 7, 2017 presented a budget of N8.6 trillion before a joint session of the National Assembly.
The president who announced the 2018 budget as “Budget of Consolidation”, said the projected expenditure would drive rapid economic recovery.
He added at the session that with a benchmark of $45 per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.
In a related development, House of Representatives on Tuesday disclosed that the 2018 budget estimate of N9.12 trillion will be passed into law today.
This disclosure follows the laying of the conference report of the joint appropriations committee of the House and Senate yesterday at plenary.
Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun alluded to the passage of the budget today, after the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Hon Mustapha Dawaki had laid the budget report.
The N9.120 trillion budget is however, higher by N410 billion against the N8.612 trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to the joint session of the National Assembly in December 2017.
Lasun thereafter, directed House members to pick copies of the budget from the appropriation committee, adding that the House is likely to pass the budget today.
Daily Times reports that controversy has trailed the passage of the budget with the National Assembly accusing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of failing to defend their budget proposals.
The development, the National Assembly leadership said, led to the delay in the passage of the budget, prompting President Buhari to issue a deadline and directed heads of all MDAs to defend their respective budgets unfailingly.
A breakdown of the budget indicates that the sum of N530.42 billion is for statutory transfer; N2.20 trillion is for debt service; N199 billion is for sinking fund for maturing loams.
Also, the sum of N3.51 trillion is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while N2,87 trillion is for development fund for capital expenditure.