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Reps rush through passage of 2021 budget, MTEF before embarking on holiday

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The House of Representatives on Monday passed the N13.58 trillion budget for 2021 before embarking on its Christmas/New Year holiday, to maintain the January 1st to December 31st fiscal cycle.

The green chamber also passed the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

It will be fair to describe the process as ‘rushing through ‘ as the Presiding officer, Femi Gbajabiamila did not even allow the usual practice of giving a synopsis of the report.

The budget was passed following the consideration of the report of the National Assembly Joint committee on Appropriations laid by the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Mustapha Batera.

A total of N505,607,317,874 was added to the amount proposed by the Executive–N13.08 trillion and presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 8th October, 2020.

The exchange rate benchmark was pegged at N379/$ and crude oil production at 1.86 million barrels per day (including 400,000 barrels of condensate) at $40 per barrel, as proposed by the executive.

The breakdown of the budget as passed by the House is as follow, “Statutory transfer – N496,528,471,273, Debt service; N3,324,380,000,000, recurrent expenditure; N5,641,970,060,680, capital expenditure;N4,125,149,354,222 and fiscal deficit; N5,196,007,992,292.”

The bill was also passed through third reading before adjourning for the year.

Speaking at the end of the plenary, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila said that despite the hit against the Nigerian economy, Nigeria is doing better than most countries.

He praised the members of the National Assembly for the passage of the 2021 bill to continue the January-December budget cycle.

Following the bill passage, the House has now adjourned its sittings until the 26th of January, 2021.

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