The senate on Tuesday approved the 2015 budget of N4.493 trillion, which is less than the 2014 budget of N4.695 trillion by about N200 billion.
A copy of the 2015 budget seen by TheCable showed that there was no provision for fuel subsidy in it. However, 21 billion was budgeted for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).
This may mean an end to the controversial subsidy on petrol, and may also mean that government will be unable to pay oil marketers who may want to stop importing fuel, thereby causing scarcity of the product in the country. According to senator who would not want to be quoted, the government did not make provision for fuel subsidy in the 2015 budget, hence the national assembly passed the 4.4 trillion budget without considering it.
Speaking to journalists at the national assembly complex on Tuesday, Ahmed Maccido, chairman senate committee on appropriation and finance, said it was left for President Jonathan to sign the budget into law and start implementing until May 29.
“If the president can assent to the budget he can start implementing until May 29,” he said.
He also said the government was capable of financing the budget as measures had been taken to plug leakages.
The figure approved by the senate is higher than the N4.3 trillion initially presented by the federal government in December 2014 through Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, to the national assembly.
A breakdown shows that the presidential amnesty programme will gulp N63.2 billion, while N23.6 billion will go to 30, 000 Niger Delta ex–militants, N5.5 billion to operational cost, and N34.1 billion to reintegration of transformed ex-militants.
It allocates N375 billion for statutory transfers, N953 billion for debt service, N2.607 trillion for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, and N556 billion (inclusive of N144 billion capital expenditure in statutory transfers) for “contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2015″.
According to Ahmed Maccido, chairman of the joint committee on appropriations and finance, the oil benchmark for 2015 budget was pegged at $53 per barrel while the foreign exchange rate was put at N190 to $1.
He urged the senate to approve the budget, having given it a thorough perusal.
Last week, the federal house of representatives passed the 2015 budget with a similar breakdown.
In the recurrent expenditure, the presidency will receive N20 billion, office of the secretary to the government of federation will receive N48 billion, while defence (ministry of defence, army, air force, navy) will receive N338 billion.
Also in the recurrent budget, ministries of foreign affairs, finance, health and education will receive, N41 billion, N12 billion, N237 billion and N392 billion, respectively.
Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA) National Population Commission, Federal Civil service Commission, Federal Character Commission and Police Service Commission will receive N5 billion, N1 billion, N2 billion and N740 million, respectively.
Regarding capital expenditure, the presidency will receive N4 billion, office of the secretary to the government will receive N9 billion, while defence (ministry of defence/army/air force, navy) will receive N36 billion.
The budget also shows that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will receive N13 billion, while entitlements of former presidents, heads of state, vice presidents and chiefs of general staff will gulp N2.3 billion.