The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the 2022 budget of N17.126 trillion against the N16.391 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The passage of the appropriation bill which was christened, ‘Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability’, followed a unanimous adoption of a report laid on the floor of the House during plenary in Abuja by the Chairman, House Appropriation Committee, Murktar Betera.
The House also increased the oil benchmark from the $52 per barrel that was proposed by the executive to $62 per barrel, while the proposed exchange rate of N410.15 to a dollar was retained.
The House in its explanation said that the increase in the oil benchmark was to reflect the current market realities in the international oil market adding that provision was made for more funds to critical sectors of the economy for purpose of execution of their core mandate.
The House also noted that while the major capital, recurrent, debt service, statutory transfers remain untouched, it made provision for an increase by N400 billion for agencies that came forward with financial reports which were not captured in the proposed budget.
Some of those agencies include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the National Assembly, and Ministry of Works and Housing.
Others are Defence, National Population Commission for the 2022 Population Census, Agriculture and Rural Development, National Security Adviser, among others.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was put at 4.2%, while inflation was left at 13%.
The lawmakers also made provision for 10 percent of monies recovered by EFCC and the National Financial Intelligence Unit to be utilised by the agencies for their operations, to strengthen their fight against corruption
The Legislators in the 2022 appropriation bill increased the budget deficit by N98 billion to make provision for some other requests of national importance which have not been captured in the budget estimates and which could not be covered by the revenue increase.
What you should know
Recall that on October 7, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari presented the budget estimates for 2022 before a joint session of the National Assembly, stating that it was designed to build on the achievements of previous budgets and to deliver on our goals and aspirations as will be reflected in our soon-to-be-launched National Development Plan of 2021 to 2025.