***Approves additional N3.55 trillion for petrol subsidy
***Adjourns plenary till April 26
The Senate, on Thursday, approved a revised budget of N17,319,704,091,019 trillion for the 2022 fiscal year.
The approval came with the passage of a bill to amend the 2022 Appropriations Act transmitted to the National Assembly on 10th February, 2022, by President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration.
The Senate, in December, 2021, passed a budget of N17,126,873,917,692 trillion.
The revised sum of N17.3 trillion, in contrast with the 2022 budget of 17.13 trillion passed last year, represents a N193 billion naira increase.
The passage of the Appropriations Act, 2022 (Amendment) Bill, Thursday, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Appropriations.
Out of the total sum of N17,319,704,091,019 trillion naira passed, N817,699,410,210 billion is for Statutory Transfers; N3,978,087,110,437 trillion for Debt Service; N7,108,621,131,849 trillion for Recurrent (Non-Debt Expenditure); and N5,415,296,438,523 trillion for Contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure.
Also, the Senate approved the total sum of 3.55 trillion for PMS subsidy in 2022, forwarded in two separate requests by the President to the National Assembly for approval.
The President, in a latter to the Legislature dated 10th February, 2022, sought an additional N2.557 trillion to fund subsidy payments from July to December, 2022.
He disclosed that 138 of the 254 projects in the budget totalling N13.24 billion had been identified for deletion.
The National Assembly in December, 2021, had approved the sum of N442.7 billion for subsidy in the 2022 budget for the period of January to June this year.
Buhari, however, anchored his fresh request on the fact that PMS subsidy was not duly appropriated for in the national budget beyond June.
According to him, the development was as a result of the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act which stops all such payments past the given June deadline.
In another letter dated 12th April, 2022, President Buhari requested the National Assembly to approve an additional N1 trillion to his earlier N2.557 subsidy request to bring the total amount on payments to N4 trillion for the year 2022.
He explained that the additional request was against the backdrop of adjustments to the 2022 fiscal framework which became imperative due to market developments occasioned by the spike in crude prices, following the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The chamber, accordingly, approved the President’s request for additional N3.557 trillion for PMS subsidy with the passage of the 2022 Appropriations Act (Amendment) Bill, Thursday.
It also approved N192.52 billion aggregate increase sought by the executive, and an additional provision of N182.45 billion to cater for the needs of the Nigerian Police Force to enhance their morale.
The Senate, after passing the 2022 Appropriations Act (Amendment) Bill, adjourned till the 26th of April, 2021.