The Senate has passed N819.5billion supplementary budget as debt soars.
The PUNCH reports that the Senate, on Wednesday, approved the request of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s request for an N819.54 billion supplementary budget meant to fix the infrastructure destroyed by floods across the country.
Buhari had, through an executive communication last week, sought the approval of the National Assembly for an N819.54bn supplementary budget.
The request, according to the President, would form part of the 2022 Appropriation Act.
Buhari in the letter read by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the supplementary appropriation request was meant for the capital expenditure component of the 2022 budget.
The approval of the Senate has increased the 2022 Budget deficit to N8.17trn, and the deficit-to-GDP ratio of 4.43 per cent.
The new borrowing also increased the Federal Government’s domestic borrowing in 2022 to N3.33trn.
To enhance the implementation of the projects listed in the supplementary bill, the Senate extended the lifespan period of the N18.12trn 2022 budget to March 31, 2023.
The budget, in line with provisions of clause 12 of the Appropriation Act and section 318 of the 1999 constitution, which stipulate 12 calendar months for implementation of budget in any fiscal year, ought to end on December 31, 2022, having started on January 1, 2022.
But Buhari, in a letter read in plenary last week Wednesday, sought the amendment on the Act for an extension of the implementation period.
Buhari, in the letter read by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said : “I write to request your consideration for an amendment into the 2022 Acts expression clause 12, as passed and assented to.
“The 2022 Appropriation Acts states, in line with the provisions of section 318 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, this Bill expires after 12 months starting from January, 1 to the December, 31, 2022, once assented to.
“The proposed 2022 appropriation supplementary budget submitted to National Assembly for consideration as well as recent 2022 capital releases to the MDAs are likely to be utilised before December 31st, 2022 due to the late release of the funds which will lapse if the capital implementation is not extended beyond December, 2022.”