Six months after President Muhammadu Buhari laid the 2018 nation’s budget before the joint session of the National Assembly, the lawmakers have just passed it, with an increase N508 billion compared.
The original estimate which President Buhari presented to the National Assembly in November 2017 was N8.6 Trillion while the lawmakers finally passed the sum of N9.21 Trillion.
The National Assembly which passed the budget today, Wednesday, barely a day after the report on it was submitted by the appropriation committees of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, said the increase was done after due consultation with the Executive arm of government.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje, said that the reason for the increase was based on the decision to increase oil benchmark from the proposed N45 to N51.
The passage of the bill was expected to have come long before now, as it was presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari since November last year.
The National Assembly had blamed the delay in the passage of the budget on the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that were said to have refused to submit details of the budget proposals.
They were also said to have refused to appear before the committees working on the budget.
At a point, the leadership of the National Assembly met President Buhari over the delay and informed him about the alleged refusal of some of the agencies to co-operate.
Buhari, at that point intervened and directed the agencies affected to submit the necessary documents to aid the completion of work on the budget.