2019 Budget: Reps shift debate for Wednesday

The much anticipated debate of the 2019 budget proposal suffered major setback on Tuesday as the leadership of the House of Representatives shelved the debate on the general principles of the Bill to Wednesday.

Yussuff Lasun, Deputy Speaker who announced the resolution sequel to a motion sponsored by the House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Gbajabiamila urged the House to step down the consideration of the bill to enable proper digest by members.

“Mr. Speaker I pray that you step down the bill and give us about 24hours to study the documents.”

Speaking earlier, Lasun who presided over the plenary session explained that a slight error was noticed in the figure report of the 2019 Appropriation Bill was the reason why the debate could not go on last week.

Lasun while assuring the bill commencement this week, called on members to indicate interest in the case of contributing to the debate on the floor.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 presented N8.73 trillion budget proposal to the joint session of the National Assembly.

Key assumptions in the 2019 budget proposal showed that 2.3mbpd pil production; $60 per barrel; 9.98 percent inflation rate; N119.28 trillion nominal consumption; N139.65 trillion; N139.65 trillion as nominal GDP and 3.1 percent GDP rate for the year 2019.

The sum of N500 billion was proposed for Social Intervention Projects (SIP), consisting of N350 billion recurrent and N150 billion capital expenditure.
The sum of N2.28 trillion was proposed for capital expenditure, inclusive of capital in statutory transfers; one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund amounting to N51.22 billion for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and other related commitments
As encapsulated in the budget proposal, Federal Government set revenue target of N6.97 trillion to fund the 2019 budget tagged ‘Budget of continuity.

According to Mr President, the sums of N65 billion was proposed for implementation of Presidential Amnesty Programme; N45 billion as North East Intervention Fund; N10 billion as take-off grant for the North East Development Commission; N15 billion to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises; N15 billion for recapitalization of Bank for Agriculture and Bank of Industry as well as N10 billion as grant to Bank of Industry for the purpose of subsidizing the interest rates charged on loans to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises with the view to make it possible for them to access single digit interest rate loans from the Bank of Industry.

Buhari further unveiled the administration’s plan to include “N275.88 billion representing capital for the larger GOEs and N556.02 billion for Multi-lateral/Bi-lateral project-tied loans, the aggregate capital budget is N3.12 trillion. This represents 30 percent of the total Federal Government’s proposed expenditure for 2019.

While giving breakdown of the sources of revenue, Buhari disclosed that the sum of N6.97 trillion (3 percent lower than the 2018 estimate of N7.17 trillion), consist of N3.73 trillion oil revenue while non-oil revenue is estimated at N1.39 trillion.

Buhari also unveiled plans for N305 billion ($1 billion) for under-recovery by NNPC on PMS in 2019.

The estimate for non-oil revenue consists of N799.52 billion from
Companies Income Tax (CIT), N229.34 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT) and Customs Duties of N302.55 billion. We have reduced our expectation from Independent Revenues to N624.58 billion. Other revenues expected in 2019 include various recoveries of N203.38 billion, N710 billion as proceeds from the restructuring of government’s equity in Joint Ventures and other sundry incomes of N104.11 billion.

On the 2018 budget performance, as at the end of the third quarter, Federal Government’s actual aggregate revenue stood at N2.84 trillion, which is 40 percent higher than 2017 revenue. The overall revenue performance is only 53 percent of/the target in the 2018 Budget largely because some one-off items are yet to be actualized. We have now rolled this revenue item over to 2019,” the President noted.

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