President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the N8.91 trillion 2019 Appropriation Bill into law today, just a few weeks after it was passed by the National Assembly. The signing ceremony kicked off at the Presidential Villa earlier today.
Stakeholders in attendance– Some Senators and Ministers were at the ceremony. Dignitaries include the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma and the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang.
Also, at the ceremony were the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
At 11.15am today President @MBuhari signed the 2019 Appropriation Bill – Budget of Continuity – into Law. #AsoVillaToday #Budget2019 pic.twitter.com/RtlXxQZz6h
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) May 27, 2019
Earlier developments – The National Assembly, upon passage of the appropriation bill, increased the budget to the current figure. The N8.9 trillion budget was passed during the Senate’s plenary session headed by Senate President, Bukola Saraki in April.
The 2019 budget was passed five months after President Buhari presented the appropriation bill to the National Assembly in December 2018. This is an improvement compared to the passage of the 2017 and 2018 budget which took six months each.
Break down of approved budget – In the upgraded budget by the National Assembly, the sum of N2.094 trillion was allocated to capital expenditure, recurrent expenditure got N4.055 trillion, statutory transfers N502 billion, fiscal deficit was raised to N1.908 trillion (1.37%), special intervention fund N500 billion and deficit to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.37%
In passing the 2019 budget, the National Assembly adopted the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) with 2.3million barrel per day (bpd) oil production, $60 per barrel as oil price benchmark; N305/$1 as the exchange rate.
A Booster for the economy – The signed appropriation bill is expected to boost Nigeria’s economy, which has been surrounded by uncertainties. Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) noted that foreign investors are still observing policy direction in the economy due to the general elections.
The general elections coupled with the delay in the signing of 2019 budget are believed to have slowed down the economy. In the meantime, business activities should improve across ministries and states governments, due to the approved budgets.