Recall that NIGERIA NEWS has previously reported that the National Assembly and the executive arm of government had jerked up the recently released 2018 budget from initial N8.6 trillion to N9.12.
The presidency has however revealed why the increment of the budget is necessary.
The revelation was made yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who noted that the increment is in order to allow the upward swing in the price of crude oil in foreign market which it claimed came into being shortly after the presentation of the initial budget.
Speaking further on the matter, Enang said: “When you submit the budget to the legislature, if there are indices that change in the budget, the budget can also change.”
“The increase in the budget was discussed between us the executive and the legislature because oil price was about $55- $58 per barrel when we submitted the budget.”
At the time the budget was ready to be passed, oil price rose to about $70- $71 per barrel and the executive and the legislature teams met and said we can raise the benchmark from Mr President’s proposed benchmark of $45 per barrel to $50 per barrel.”
“So, that makes some money available and, of course, we had intended that the budget should be passed by December. Budget, having not been passed by December 2017 to January 2018, there were some other sources of revenue which came in.”
“We agreed with the legislature that part of it should be applied towards reducing deficit and some applied to some capital projects and that is the reason the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, made some submissions on some capital projects to the Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives and passed them to the Appropriations Committee which has been accommodated to a greater extent.”
“We are not at this time going to get into discrepancy whether the budget was increased rightly or wrongly, we are only going to look at what Mr President directed us to look at in terms of budget details.”