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2022 budget passes second reading at house of reps

2022 budget passes second reading at house of reps
October 14
18:07 2021

The 2022 budget proposal has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

The green chamber passed the budget on Thursday, after two days of debate on the appropriation bill.

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari presented an appropriation bill of N16.39 trillion to a joint session of the national assembly.

A breakdown of the budget shows that N768.28 billion was earmarked for statutory transfers, N6.83 trillion for non-debt recurrent costs, N792.39 billion for overhead costs, and N5.35 trillion for capital expenditure.

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While leading the debate on the appropriation bill during plenary session, Ado Doguwa, majority leader of the house, said the budget has been designed to tackle the challenges confronting the country.

“With the changing economic situation, there is a need for the government to invest heavily in infrastructural deficit and to invest in health issues and education and agriculture,” he said.

Some lawmakers also demanded that the oil price benchmark for the 2022 budget be pegged at $60 per barrel.

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According to them, the $57 oil price pegged by the federal government is “not sustainable”.

They also expressed concerns over the proposed N3.9 trillion for debt servicing.

Contributing to the debate, Tasir Raji, chairman, committee on house services, said measures should be taken to prevent the devaluation of the naira.

“The 2022 budget is on an exchange rate of N410.15 per US dollar. This is a clear official devaluation of the naira,” he said.

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“This is bound to further impoverish Nigerians. Nigeria is an import dependent economy and devaluation of our currency over the years has not benefitted our people in any way.

“It has led to high rate of inflation, drastic reduction in the purchasing power of the citizens, increased cost of doing business, corruption and brain drain, particularly among our highly skilled professionals.

“Rather than this continued devaluation of our currency, I recommend that efforts should be geared towards strengthening of the naira.”

The budget has been referred to the committee on appropriation and other standing committees for further legislative work.

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