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Saraki, others get N23.678n as severance package in 2019 budget

NASS jerks up 2019 budget by N90bn, approves N8.916 trn

By Henry Umoru & Emman Ovuakporie

ABUJA-THE National Assembly yesterday passed the 2019 budget, by jerking the revenue size by N90billion this came asSenate President, Bukola Saraki and others got N23.678n as severance package

The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Mustafa Dawakin, APC, Kano, disclosed that severance fees of N24.6billion would be paid to members of the House of Representatives and senators in the 2019 budget.

Consequently, it passed a total budget of N8.916trn, against the N8.826trn earlier proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 2019 budget wasunanimously passedafter the two chambers considered and adopted the report submittedby their Committees on Appropriation.

In passing the budget, National Assembly adopted the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF /FSP) which approved 2.3mpd as daily oil production, $60 per barrel as oil price benchmark and N305/USD exchange rate.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on December 19, 2018, presented a budget proposal of N8,826,636,578,915 to the joint session of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

N23.67bn severance package for lawmakers

In the presentation of the report by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, APC, Gombe Central, the N90 billion increase in the budget profile include N23.678 billion, added as severance gratuity for outgoing federal lawmakers and their legislative aides.

According to Goje,the N23.678billion severance package for outgoing legislators also included induction programme / inauguration of the Ninth Assembly.

Also part of the N90 billion added to the entire aggregate expenditure of the budget is the N10 billion intervention fund approved for tackling current humanitarian crisis in Zamfara State, while the balance of about N66 billion is additional vote appropriated for the various security agencies to strengthen the fight against all forms of crimes in the land.

According to him, in implementing the just approved N30,000 minimum wage for public servants, the N160 billion proposed as service wide voteswas appropriated for, under the Public Service wage adjustment for Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs.

Both committees recommended and approved that all the parameters upon which the budget estimates are based were retained.

They include $60 per barrel oil price bench mark, 2.3 million barrel per day production level and N305 to one US dollar as exchange rate.

Major highlights of the N8.916 trillion 2019 budget passed by the National Assembly are N502.058billion for statutory transfers; N500 billion for Special Intervention; and N4.055 trillion for recurrent expenditure.

Others are N2.094 trillion for capital expenditure; and N1.908 trillion as fiscal deficit within the ambit of 1.37 per cent deficit to GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

Within the service wide votes allocations in the approved budget, N5 billion was earmarked for payment of outstanding death benefit to civil servants and police personnel, N15billion as additional support for universities and N65billion for Presidential Amnesty Programme on reintegration of transformed ex-militants.

Within the capital expenditure component of the budget, N394.906billion is earmarked for the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing; N107.218billion for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; N159.125billion for Ministry of Defence and N92.178billion for Ministry of Water Resources.

Others are N58.689bn for Ministry of Education; N179.384bn for Ministry of Transportation; and N53.678bn for Ministry of Interior, among others.

However in the recurrent expenditure component of the budget, the Ministry of Interior has the highest appropriated votes of N564.222billion, followed by Ministry of Education with N463.395billion .

The break down of the N2.094 trillion capital expenditure showed that Federal ministry of Power, Works and Housing has the highest allocation of N394. 906billion followed by the Transportation ministry which got N179. 384.

The Defence Ministry got the third highest allocation of N159. 125 billion while the Agriculture Ministry got N107. 218 billion. The Water Resources Ministry got the sum of N92. 178 billion as capital allocation.

There is also the provision of N160 billion for the payment of “Public Service Wage Adjustment for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including arrears of promotion and salary increases.

Speaking further, Goje explained that the President was at liberty to submit more financial request for approval of the National Assembly to further fund the minimum wage increase if what had been approved was not enough.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said: ” I want to thank our colleagues, particularly for their understanding and for us to be able to meet today’s deadline in passing the bill and thank the committee on appropriation too.

“I hope that with this budget passed, the Executive will also ensure the full implementation of the Budget for the benefit of Nigerians as a whole.”

Meanwhile, the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Mustafa Dawakin, APC, Kano, has disclosed that severance fees of N24.6billion would be paid to members of the House of Representatives and senators in the 2019 budget.

He also said the severance fees of N24.6bn would be paid for outgoing members of the Eighth Assembly.

Dawakin made this known while briefing journalists on the highlights of the 2019 budget.

He explained: “Severance fees are normally paid firing the transition year of any administration.

“As you are aware Mr President laid this budget on December 18, 2018 but certain extraneous forces such as the Christmas and New year breaks also affected quick passage of the Appropriation Bill.

“Don’t forget that we had to go on break to fully participate in the February polls, all these were distractions that really affected the passage of the Appropriation Bill.

“Hopefully by Thursday the budget will be transmitted to the president for his assent. We left the oil benchmark and exchange rate as srnt by the executive, except for the deficit which we adjusted

“The leadership had given us a timeline of March to complete the budget process but all these distractions affected but finally we completed it on the 30th of April.”

Meanwhile the Senate has adjourned to Tuesday, May 6, 2019 .


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Posted by on May 3 2019. Filed under General Politics, Latest Politics, Legislature, National Politics, Senate, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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