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President Buhari signs 2022 Appropriation Bill into law

President Muhammadu Buhari has just signed the 2022 Appropriation Bill into law.

The budget Titled ”Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability’‘ was submitted to the National Assembly at N16.391trillion, now stands at N17.126trillion.

The breakdown shows that statutory allocation has N869 billion, debt servicing, N3.8 trillion, recurrent allocation, N6.9 trillion, and capital expenditure, N5.4 trillion.

The oil benchmark is raised from the proposed 57 dollars per barrel to 62 dollars, while the projected oil production is put at 1.88 million barrels per day including condensates.

‘‘Some of the worrisome changes are as follows: Increase in projected FGN Independent Revenue by N400 billion, the justification for which is yet to be provided to the Executive; Reduction in the provision for Sinking Fund to Retire Maturing Bonds by N22 billion without any explanation; Reduction of the provisions for the Non-Regular Allowances of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Navy by N15 billion and N5 billion respectively. This is particularly worrisome because personnel cost provisions are based on agencies’ nominal roll and approved salaries/allowances”. President Buhari noted.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu says President Buhari expresses his reservations on inclusion of new provisions totaling N36.59 billion for National Assembly’s projects in the Service Wide Vote which negates the principles of separation of Powers and financial autonomy of the Legislative arm of government, changes to the original Executive proposal are in the form of new insertions and outright removals.

The statement says ‘‘Furthermore, an increase of N21.72 billion in the Overhead budgets of some MDAs, while the sum of N1.96 billion was cut from the provision for some MDAs without apparent justification; ‘‘Increase in the provision for Capital spending (excluding Capital share in Statutory Transfer) by a net amount of N575.63 billion, from N4.89 trillion to N5.47 trillion’’.

The President announced that as the 2023 Budget is going to be a transition budget, work will start in earnest to ensure early submission of the 2023-2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper as well as the 2023 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly.

He, therefore, directed Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, more specifically with the Budget Office of the Federation, to realize this very important objective.

President Buhari also expressed strong reservations on the ‘‘worrisome changes’’ made by the National Assembly to the 2022 Executive Budget proposal.

He announced that he would revert to the National Assembly with a request for amendment as soon as the Assembly resumes to ensure that critical ongoing projects cardinal to this administration do not suffer a setback due to reduced funding.

The President recounted that during the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill, he had stated that the fiscal year 2022 would be very crucial in his administration’s efforts to complete and put to use critical agenda projects, as well as improve the general living conditions of our people.

‘‘I signed the 2022 Appropriation Bill into law to enable its implementation to commence on 1st January 2022”. President Buhari stated.

The President also signed the Finance Bill 2021, which he said was critical to the execution of the 2022 Budget.

The President also directed MDAs to liaise with the Bureau of Public Enterprises and/or the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission to explore available opportunities for public-private partnerships, concessions as well as climate finance arrangements to fast-track the pace of infrastructural development.

He thanked the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Budget Office of the Federation, and all who worked tirelessly and sacrificed so much towards producing the 2022 Appropriation Act.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, had in October layed out the projected funding process for the Budget, saying that revenues of 6.54 Naira trillion and 2.62 trillion Naira are projected to accrue to the Federation Account and the Value Added Tax, VAT.

The 2022 Appropriation Bill was handed over to the President for signing by his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, while the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Zainab Ahmed.

President Muhammadu Buhari with President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Zainab Ahmed after signing the Budget at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Sunday Aghaeze 
President Muhammadu Buhari with President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Zainab Ahmed at the signing of the Budget at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Sunday Aghaeze 

Reporting by Abdullah Bello; editing by Adeniyi Bakare