Buhari presents N11tr 2020 budget to National Assembly today

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari will today present an appropriation bill of N10.729 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year before a joint session of the National Assembly.The Guardian learnt that the extraordinary Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sanctioned the adjustments made by the National Assembly to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF-SP) which reviewed upward the earlier N9.12 trillion estimates.

The gathering, originally billed for last Saturday when the president returned from his state visit to South Africa, was shifted via a terse statement on Friday night.

Although newsmen were not briefed on the outcome of yesterday’s deliberations, a senior official in the presidency, who pleaded anonymity, said that the decision to shun the press was to protect the sanctity of the document.

He said: “FEC is happy with the National Assembly for increasing the (oil) benchmark to $57 per barrel. The additional $2 is to take care of recruitment in the security agencies and also to attend to critical areas.

“This is a sign that the legislature and the executive will work together for the interest of Nigerians. It is a good development.”

Departmental heads of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, led by the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, were said to have made submissions at the meeting.

The Senate had received official communication from Buhari to present the 2020 appropriation bill before a joint session of the National Assembly last week on Tuesday.

The request, which was dated October 2, 2019, and addressed to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, was read at plenary last Thursday.

Also, the upper legislative chamber, after an extensive debate, approved the 16 recommendations contained in the report of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

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