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Senate Passes 2015 Budget Without Provision For Subsidy
The Senate on Tuesday passed the N4.493trillion budget for the 2015 fiscal year a week after the House of Representatives passed its version.
The passage is coming exactly five months after the minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaeala, presented the budget for consideration.
The approved appropriation is however higher than the N4.425 trillion submitted to both chambers of the National Assembly by the Presidency.
The Senate reduced the initial N2.607, 601, 000, 300 proposed by the executive for recurrent expenditure to the sum of N2.607, 132,491,708. It also reduced the capital expenditure from N642, 848,999,699 estimated in the proposal to N556, 995,465,449.
While there was no appropriation for fuel subsidy in the document, N21bn was however budgeted for the funding of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.
The fiscal deficit in the budget was put at N1.07trn, while N953.6bn was pegged down for debt service. Also, N375.6bn was budgeted as statutory transfers while education sector’s share of the budget is N392.3bn.
While N338.7bn was budgeted for the military, police commands and their formations have N303.8bn appropriated for them. The health sector have a vote of N237bn, Interior ministry N153bn while the works ministry takes N25.1bn.
The chairman, Senate joint committee on Appropriation and Finance, Mohammed Maccido, said that the executive did not make provision for fuel subsidy in the 2015 budget and that the National Assembly decided to follow suit.
“There was no provision in the budget for subsidy but I believe there should be provision for it especially since there was already a disagreement between the oil marketers and the federal government over subsidy payment,” he observed.
Maccido said the budget projections would be guided by $53 oil benchmark, an exchange rate of N190 to one US dollar; N2.2782m per barrel crude oil production per day and deficit gross domestic product of -1.12 per cent.