Following the response of the National Assembly justifying its distortion of the 2018 Budget, the Presidency felt the need to make further clarifications.
In four key points below, Femi Adesina explains the presidency's position on the issue!
Throughout the budget consideration process the executive, through the
Ministry of Budget and National Planning, was in touch with the National
Assembly. The executive was approached by the National Assembly who
indicated that they intended to increase the benchmark price by US$5,
from US$45 to US$50. Out of the US$5 increase the National Assembly
informed the Executive that they intended to utilize US$2 (amounting to
about N170 billion) for projects selected by themselves. They asked the
Executive to suggest important projects that could be accommodated with
the funds arising from the balance of US$3.
2. After some
consideration, the Executive was of the view that an increase in the
benchmark price of crude oil to US$50 was not unrealistic and the
President decided to accept this in the spirit of compromise required
for a successful budget exercise. The Executive had, in that spirit,
suggested that from the additional funds arising out of the US$3
increase, $1.25 from the increase should not be appropriated as
expenditure, but utilized to reduce the deficit in the budget. The
Executive therefore restricted itself to submitting, for the
consideration of the National Assembly, important items that could be
funded from US$1.75 of the US$3 increase. NASS eventually raised the
benchmark price to US$51, apparently to accommodate the additional
allocations to Health and NDDC.
3. The Executive is therefore
surprised that with an additional sum of N170 billion Naira available
for the National Assembly to spend on Constituency Projects, together
with the sum of N100 billion Naira, already provided for in the Budget,
that the National Assembly should feel it necessary to cut allocations
to important national projects, and thereby distort the Budget, in order
to further increase their allocation for Constituency projects. How
much is enough!
4. The President’s position is clear from
paragraph 12k of the President’s speech, where he said “About 70 new
road projects have been inserted into the budget of the Federal Ministry
of Power, Works and Housing. In doing so, the National Assembly applied
some of the additional funds expected from the upward review of the oil
price benchmark to the Ministry’s vote. Regrettably, however, in order
to make provision for some of the new roads, the amounts allocated to
some strategic major roads have been cut by the National Assembly”.
[News] In 4-points, the presidency makes further clarification on the distorted 2018 budget
Saturday, 23 June 2018