10 things you missed from president's budget presentation
President Buhari presented his proposed annual budget to a joint parliament sitting. Pulse didn't miss a thing.
Here are ten things we drew from that presentation:
1. Clad in light blue babariga and a trademark cap, Buhari made his way into the green chamber of the House of Reps at exactly 2:02pm.
He had a fist up and a wide grin on his face after settling behind the rostrum.
2. The president was ushered into the lower legislative chamber by his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, Senate majority leader Ahmad Lawan, House majority leader Femi Gbajabiamila, House whip Hon Alhassan Doguwa and House Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun.
3. The president addressed lawmakers for 69 minutes. There was plenty of cheering and murmuring at irregular intervals from both sides of the political divide.
4. There was a planned protest by lawmakers, especially from the PDP side of the aisle, but that was shelved following pleas and entreaties from presiding and principal officers of parliament before Tuesday’s presentation.
The lawmakers had planned to use the occasion of the president’s budget presentation to voice their disapproval over the poor implementation of the 2017 budget and non-disbursement of monies for constituency projects by the executive.
5. Some lawmakers actually smuggled protest placards into the chamber, but couldn’t hold them aloft during the presentation.
Some dissenting placards bore the inscriptions: “zero implementation of capital projects is wickedness”. "Where is constituency project allocation?"
6. There was intermittent murmuring from some lawmakers during the president’s hour long presentation.
However, those were not enough to disrupt proceedings or create a rowdy session. The APC side of the aisle made sure to keep a lid on proceedings.
7. The 2018 appropriation act proposes N2.428 trillion for capital projects, N3.494 trillion for recurrent expenditure and N2.014 trillion for debt servicing.
Buhari has placed a ban on unauthorized hiring into MDAs (Ministries, Departments, Agencies) because of the chunk of money appropriated for recurrent expenditure next year.
8. Capital projects account for 30.8 percent of the budget; with emphasis on the East-West road, 2nd Niger bridge, Mambilla power project etc.
9. Power, works and housing ministry will receive a chunk of the budget--that’s N555.88bn. Education will receive N61.73bn, transportation N263.1bn and health gets N71.11bn when the budget eventually gets passed. Nigeria will spend N2.014trn servicing debts and loans in 2018.
10. The 2018 budget is hinged on a crude oil benchmark of $45 per barrel and an oil production estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day; with exchange rate at N305/ US$.
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