President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the 2019 N8.92 trillion Budget into law, pointing out some observations.
Buhari explained that the N90.33 billion injected into the bill by the National Assembly would disrupt the implementation of the government’s policy, especially the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
He promised to engage the next National Assembly to smoothen the rough edges in the budget.
The President faulted the Appropriation Bill approved by both Chambers of the National Assembly because it was jacked up by N90 billion from the figure he proposed on December 18, last year.
The National Assembly had passed N8.92 trillion as the 2019 Budget Appropriation Bill as against the N8.83trn presented by the President.
The increase, according to the National Assembly, was to cater for security challenges in the country, packages for lawmakers and support for Zamfara State, among others.
But, signing the budget on Monday, Buhari faulted the increase in the budget, which introduced new projects.
He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership of the National Assembly and indeed all the Distinguished and Honourable members for all the hard work they put in to get us here.
“You will all recall that in December 2018, I presented our 2019 budget proposal with the theme: ‘Budget of Continuity’. Our goal was to use this budget to move the economy further on the path of inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth.
“Back then, I proposed a total expenditure of N8.83 trillion to the National Assembly for appropriation, targeting strategic and impactful projects and initiatives.
“However, the 2019 Budget I will be signing into law today provides for aggregate expenditures of N8.92 trillion. This is an increase of N90.33 billion over our submission.
“This increase reflects changes introduced by the National Assembly. In some areas, expenses we proposed were reduced while in other areas they were increased.
“There were also certain areas where new additions were introduced into the budget. More details of the approved budget will be provided by the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning.
“Of course, some of these changes will adversely impact our programmes, making it difficult for us to achieve the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“Although I will be signing this bill, it is my intention to continue to engage the National Assembly to ensure we deliver on our promises.”