Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari signed the country’s record 9.12 trillion naira ($29.8 billion) 2018 budget into law on Wednesday, a presidency spokesman said, capping months of delays now typical for spending plans under the current administration.
Nigeria’s parliament, the National Assembly, passed the budget last month. The total sum is higher than the 8.6 trillion naira spending plan presented to parliament by Buhari in November because lawmakers increased the assumed oil price to $51 per barrel from $45.
Buhari “has signed as approved by National Assembly, but will seek amendments with National Assembly later,” the spokesman told Reuters in Abuja.
In his remarks, President Buhari thanked the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as all the lawmakers for passing the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
He, however, noted, “When I submitted the 2018 Budget proposals to the National Assembly on 7th November 2017, I had hoped that the usual legislative review process would be quick, so as to move Nigeria towards a predictable January-December financial year.”
The President said he is determined to continue working with the National Assembly to improve the budgeting process and restoring Nigeria to the January-December fiscal cycle.
He explained that the Federal Government’s budget represents less than 10 per cent of the aggregate yearly expenditures in the economy.
President Buhari also revealed that the budge has “a very significant accelerator effect” on the financial plans of other tiers of government, as well as the private sector which mostly operates on a January-December financial year.
President Buhari had submitted a budget proposal of N8.612 trillion to the National Assembly on November 7, 2017.
The lawmakers, however, increased the proposal by N508 billion to N9.12 trillion, when they passed the Appropriation Bill on May 16, 2018 – six months after it was presented.
The President signed the budget in company with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari.
Some of the ministers who witnessed the signing are Senator Udo Udoma (Budget and National Planning), Mr Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture), and Mrs Kemi Adeosun (Finance).