President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a 2018 supplementary budget proposal to the Senate with a request that N228 billion should be allocated from this year’s budget insertions by the National Assembly to fund critical projects.
In the letter, he explained that implementing a budget of 9.12 trillion Naira in 2018 will be extremely challenging and did not consider it convenient.
The President also revealed that next year’s general elections will cost the country about N242.4 billion
The President urged the lawmakers to transfer the funds appropriated for the new projects which were inserted in the 2018 budget to cover the sum of 228.8 billion Naira for the elections while the balance will be provided in the 2019 budget.
In his words:
“I’m therefore requesting that you relocate some of the funds appropriated for new projects which were inserted into the 2018 budget proposal totaling N578bn to cover the sum of N228 billion required”.
Recall that the President had earlier criticised the National Assembly for reducing allocations for some projects and including the insertion of some projects into the budget without consultation with the Executive.
According to Buhari, the National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.
But the National Assembly, however, defended their actions. According to Senator Bala Na’ Allah, the Deputy Leader of the Senate stated that the legislators had no choice but to amend the budget, to avoid the wrath of their constituents.
According to him:
“The way the budget came, if we had allowed it to go that way, we would have been in trouble with those who elected us.”
The President on June 20 signed the 2018 budget as passed by the lawmakers after the N8.26 trillion presented to the National Assembly was increased to N9.12 trillion.