By Gbenga Gbelee
The two chambers of the National Assembly will today commence debate on the harmonized
report of the 2017 Appropriation Bill which has been jacked up with about N143 billion.
This followed the laying of the 2017 Budget on the floor yesterday.
Following the submission of the report of the Appropriation Bill by both the Senate and
House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations separately, the Senate announced
that it would today begin clause-by- clause consideration of the bill and might pass it into law
The Chairman of the Joint Appropriation Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje laid the report
of the Appropriation Bill and seconded by Senator Sunny Ogbuoji. The report as presented
by the Joint Senate Committee on Appropriation and Finance at yesterday’s plenary, was
carried out five months after its presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reports have it that the joint committee on appropriation raised the budget figure of N7.298
trillion as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to N7.441 trillion, meaning an addition
of about N143 billion. According to the report, N434.4 billion is for statutory transfer; N1.84
trillion for debt servicing and N177.46 billion as sinking fund for maturing bonds. The report
also indicated that N2.99 trillion was appropriated for recurrent (non-debt) while
N2.17trillion was provided as contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure.
Briefing journalists after the session, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public
Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, noted that unlike last year’s budget, the 2017 budget would
be passed along with the details. He emphasised that both chambers of the National
Assembly would pass a harmonised budget after the clause-by- clause consideration.
Receiving the report, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, disclosed that senators were yet to
receive both hard and soft copies of the budget, but assured that lawmakers would get soft
and hard copies today. Meanwhile, Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation,
Honourable Mustapha Dawaki (APC, Kano), had presented and laid the budget report before
the House of representatives barely 45 minutes after the Senate laid its own, yesterday.
However, in the report laid before the House, the Appropriation had increased from the initial
7.29 trillion to N7.441trillion, indicating an increase of N143 billion. Presenting the report
during plenary, Hon. Dawaki said the committee worked assiduously with various
committees to arrive at the document.