House of Representative states that the 2018 budget is expected to build on the performance of that of 2017, the House Reps has said that the National Assembly does not expect to have a post-budget fight with President Muhammadu Buhari over the 2018 budget. The House Reps’ position was disclosed by Hon Chris Azubuogu, deputy chairman, House Committee on Appropriations.
It was gathered that Azubuogu said the N9.12tn document was a product of mutual understanding between the legislative and executive arms of government. The lawmaker added that prior to the passage of the budget, both sides already held extensive deliberations. The budget was passed by the upper and lower legislative chambers on May 16; which then transmitted it to President Buhari. The president just has to append his signature to the document, for it to become an Act. Azubuogu stated: “All the things they wanted us to do, we did. When we wanted to change the benchmark, we all agreed with them; and the reasons for doing so are there. They know and we know. “(Crude) oil was between $50 and $51 per barrel when they brought the budget. Today, it is around $80. So, we agreed that let the benchmark be $51.“That was why we set it at $51, up from the $45 that came with the budget to the National Assembly.”
He also explained that the budget was planned to build on the performance of the 2017 budget, which he said, “scored above 60 per cent, unknown to many people.” Out of the total N9.12 trillion, the 2018 budget carries as much as N2.2tn for debt servicing.