President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday sent a supplementary budget of N465,636,926,857 to the two chambers of the National Assembly for appropriation.
The President also proposed an upward review of the initial N882.1bn borrowing limit in the 2015 budget to N2.103tn.
Buhari, in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said N413.363bn out of the N465.6bn supplementary budget proposal had been earmarked for the payment of subsidy on petrol.
Also included in the recurrent component was N10.6bn for the payment of outstanding severance gratuity and allowances to members of the National Assembly and their aides.
Others captured under the recurrent component were the Nigerian Army (N17bn); Nigerian Air Force (N8bn); and another N4bn set aside for “Nigerian Army’s outstanding balance from 2015 second quarter.”
He urged both chambers of the National Assembly to treat the request with despatch in view of the current economic realities.
Buhari noted that the 2015 budget was predicated on a benchmark crude oil price of $53 per barrel, exchange of N190 to $1, and oil production of 2.2782 million barrels per day.
He, however, said the benchmark for the supplementary budget had been reviewed downward to $48; the exchange would remain unchanged at N190 to a dollar, while the oil production volume had been reduced to 2.2003 million bpd.
The President explained that N1.041tn or 1.09 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, with the deficit largely financed by domestic borrowing of N502.1bn and external loans of N380bn in the 2015 budget had put the total borrowing to N882.12bn.
He added that the expected deficit arising from the above was projected at N2.103tn or 2.19 per cent of the GDP to be financed by additional borrowing of N1.601tn through the Debt Management Office.
Buhari, therefore, requested for an upward review of the fiscal deficit from 1.09 per cent of the GDP to 2.19 per cent as well as an upward revision of borrowing from N882.1bn to 2.103tn.
He said the N465.64bn supplementary budget was expected to address security challenges and other important obligations of the country.
Giving further breakdown of the 2015 budget and its shortfall, Buhari said the Federal Government’s projected revenue of N3.452tn was made up of the share of oil and mineral revenue, non-oil revenue and the FGN independent revenue.
The letter read in part, “The Federal Government of Nigeria’s aggregate expenditure was estimated at N4.485tn, comprising of statutory transfers of N354.34bn; debt service of N953.6bn; recurrent non-debt personnel cost of N1.828tn; recurrent non-debt overhead of N791.2bn; and capital expenditure of N536.6bn.”
He noted with concern that the implementation of this year’s budget had been flawed with significant revenue shortfalls due to continuous decline in oil price, oil production shortfall and non-oil revenue.
“You may wish to further note that owing to the need to sustain the current progress in addressing the security challenges and other important obligations of government, emergency expenditure items requiring urgent funding are projected at N465.64bn,” he added.
The Senate spokesperson, Senator Aliyu Sabi, said that the upper chamber would give Buhari’s request an accelerated consideration because of the urgency it required.
Sabi, who addressed journalists after plenary, said, “We are feeling the pains like every Nigerian. That is why we have agreed to treat Mr. President’s request with all the necessary urgency it deserves.”
“Due to the urgency of this matter, copies should be circulated to members so that they will be prepared for the debate,” Dogara stated.