Politics News

NASS mulls review of N28.77tn 2024 budget over naira decline

The National Assembly would need to revisit the N28.77tn 2024 budget, the Senate has said.
The Red Chamber explained that there was a need to revisit the budget following the incessant fall of the naira against the United States dollar.
The National Assembly has passed a harmonised 2024 budget Appropriation Bill totalling N28.77tn which was eventually passed on January 1, by President Bola Tinubu.
The National Assembly increased the bill by a total of N1.2tn, moving the budget from N27.5tn to N28.7tn.
The Senate also benchmarked the exchange rate at N800 per dollar, moving it from the initial N750 per dollar initially pegged by the Federal Government.
Proffering reasons for the increment, in December, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Solomon Adeola, explained, “The current price of the dollar at the black market is between N1200 and 1300, and in the Central Bank of Nigeria, it is between N950 and N1000 and we have a budget which was pegged at N750, if you look at the gap, you’d realise that has covered a lot of gaps already.
“Again, we did some external consultations, most especially in the area of oil benchmark and petroleum resources, if we had gone in that line, we’d have pegged it at N850/N900 to a dollar and we agree that we want to be conservative in our approach, so that nobody will think that we want to increase the budget for any ulterior motive, that was why we left it at N490bn out of which N44bn is for statutory transfer, so effectively, the increment is about N446bn that is going into the Federal Government pocket as consolidated revenue.”
In an exclusive interview with Sunday PUNCH, Senator Adeola said certain actions need to be taken concerning the 2024 budget as the variables upon which the budget was built could no longer stand.
He said: “Yes, it is true that the budget was passed at N800 to a dollar but as we speak, it’s no longer visible as the dollar currently stood at N1450 to a naira.
“And I can tell you that there is a need for us to revisit the budget as the variables upon which the budget is predicated are no longer there. So all we need to do is just take our time and do some internal workings within the landing cost of petroleum product per litre of fuel.
“After this, we can now collaborate with the current budget that we have so that we can give NNPC what the actual figure for this landing cost will be, and then any savings arising from that can be planned upon for a supplementary budget or reallocation of some project within the budget,” he added.

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