The Senate on Wednesday approved N9.1 trillion as budget for 2018.
This is against the N8.6 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2017.
The Senate’s decision to increase the budget by over N500 billion was as a result of the increase in oil benchmark from $45 per barrel to $51 per barrel.
Presenting the budget for consideration, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje, explained that the increase in the benchmark was done in consultation with the Executive.
Goje added that the increase of over N500 billion will be applied in the critical sectors of the economy.
According to him, N50.88 billion for reduction of deficit, N46.72 billion for security, N57.15 billion for health, N106.50 billion for Power, Works and Housing, N15.7 billion for Education, particularly the infrastructure for the 12 newly-established Universities and meal subsidy in unity schools, N10 billion for Judiciary and N44.20 billion for Niger Delta Development Commission.
Goje said: “The budget has the objective of delivering on a three-year (2018-2020) Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The presentation by Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief marked the first reading of the Appropriation Bill.
“The 2018 Appropriation Bill, as worked on, contains the following: Aggregate Expenditure, N9.12 trillion; Statutory Transfers, N530.42 billion; Debt Service, N2.20 trillion; Recurrent, N3.5 trillion; Capital Expenditure, N2.8 trillion; Fiscal Deficit, N1.95 trillion; and Deficit to GDP (-1.73 per cent).”