The Senate on Wednesday during plenary presided over by the Senate President, David Mark, passed a budget of N4, 695, 190, 000, 000.00 for the 2014 fiscal year. This was sequel to a clause by clause consideration of the document at the committee of supply which lasted about one and half hour.
The figure reflects an increase of N53billion of the N4, 642, 960, 000, 000.00 2014 budget estimates presented to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan through the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on December 19, 2013.
Of the amount, N408, 687, 801, 891.00 was approved for statutory transfers against the N399, 687, 801, 891.00 proposed by the Executive.
The sum of N712 billion was approved for debt service as proposed.
The Senate also Okayed the sum of N2, 454, 887, 566, 702.00 for recurrent non-debt expenditure while the sum of N1, 119, 614, 631, 407.00 was approved for capital expenditure for the 2014 fiscal year, compared to the proposal by the Executive: recurrent expenditure of N2, 430, 665, 361, 597.00 and capital expenditure of N1, 100, 606, 836, 514.00.
Major highlights of the approved budget are: Benchmark oil price – $77.5 per barrel; Crude oil production – 2.3883million barrels per day; Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate – 6.75 per cent; Inflation rate – 9.5 per cent and Exchange Rate – N160.00 to $1.00.
Senator Mark commended his colleagues for the timely consideration of the budget of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government at their various committee levels.
He, therefore, called on the Executive arm of government to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the budget.