Buhari signs N17 trillion 2022 budget into law, bemoans “worrisome changes” made by NASS

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Buhari signs N17tn 2022 budget into law, bemoans “worrisome changes” made by NASS

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2022 Appropriation Bill of N17.126 trillion into law.

The President signed the budget presented to him by his Senior Special Assistant (Senate) on National Assembly, Senator Babajide Omoworare, on Friday at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The President also signed the Finance Bill 2021, which he said is critical to the execution of the 2022 Budget.

The Appropriation Bill titled “Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability” was signed at a brief ceremony attended by Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila of the House of Representatives, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; and the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

The new Budget, valued at N17.126 trillion, was transmitted to the President by the National Assembly last week Friday, 24 December.

President Buhari had submitted the draft proposed 2022 Budget of N16.391 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday, 7 October 2021, calling on the legislators to give it a speedy consideration.

The breakdown of the budget includes N869 billion for statutory allocation, N3.8 trillion for debt servicing, N6.9 trillion and N5.4 trillion for recurrent and capital expenditure respectively.

The oil benchmark was raised from the proposed $57 per barrel to $62. The projected oil production is put at 1.88million barrels per day including condensates.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had in October laid out the projected funding process for the Budget, saying revenues of N6.54 trillion and N2.62 trillion are projected to accrue to the Federation Account and the Value Added Tax (VAT) respectively.

Meanwhile, Buhari has expressed strong reservations on the ‘‘worrisome changes’’ made by the National Assembly to the 2022 Executive Budget proposal, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, on Friday.

He announced that he would revert to the National Assembly with a request for amendment as soon as the Assembly resumes to ensure that critical ongoing projects cardinal to this regime do not suffer a setback due to reduced funding.

The President recounted that during the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill, he had stated that the fiscal year 2022 would be very crucial in his administration’s efforts to complete and put to use critical agenda projects, as well as improve the general living conditions of our people.

‘‘It is in this regard that I must express my reservations about many of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the 2022 Executive Budget proposal.

‘‘Some of the worrisome changes are as follows:

‘‘Increase in projected FGN Independent Revenue by N400 billion, the justification for which is yet to be provided to the Executive:

‘‘Reduction in the provision for Sinking Fund to Retire Maturing Bonds by N22 billion without any explanation;

‘‘Reduction of the provisions for the Non-Regular Allowances of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Navy by N15 billion and N5 billion respectively.

‘‘This is particularly worrisome because personnel cost provisions are based on agencies’ nominal roll and approved salaries/allowances;

‘Furthermore, an increase of N21.72 billion in the Overhead budgets of some MDAs, while the sum of N1.96 billion was cut from the provision for some MDAs without apparent justification;

‘‘Increase in the provision for Capital spending (excluding Capital share in Statutory Transfer) by a net amount of N575.63 billion, from N4.89 trillion to N5.47 trillion.’’

Buhari also expressed concern about the reductions in provisions for some critical projects, including N12.6 billion in the Ministry of Transport’s budget for the ongoing Rail Modernisation projects; N25.8 billion from Power Sector Reform Programme under the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; N14.5 billion from several projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, and introducing over 1,500 new projects into the budgets of this Ministry and its agencies.

Buhari signs N17 trillion 2022 budget into law, bemoans “worrisome changes” made by NASS

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