How NASS approved Buhari’s N4 trillion request for petrol subsidy

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By Haruna Salami

The National Assembly, on Thursday, passed a revised budget of N17,319,704,091,019 trillion for the 2022 fiscal year.

The approval came with the passage of a bill to amend the 2022 Appropriations Act transmitted to the National Assembly on 10th February, 2022, by President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration.

Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations, Barau Jibrin, briefing journalists after the passage of revised budget said the committee members had sleepless night  to put together  the report of 2022 Appropriation Amendment Bill which was passed Thursday.

He said the president brought the bill principally to make amendment in respect of some provisions he felt were not  funded and he wanted more funding for them.

Secondly, the president wanted about N1 trillion to fund petroleum subsidy arrangement we have in the country.

Another request from Buhari is to make provision for the payment of improvement of the salary of policemen in the country.

“We were able to take in all the requests and the budget was concluded and passed.

Barau said “in terms of the oil price prediction, when the budget was passed it was 62 dollars per barrel, but now it is 73 dollars per barrel, an increase in oil price projection. What was harvested from there was used to fund the request from the president.

“The volume of production in the budget passed earlier was 1.88 million barrels per day, but now it has been brought to 1.6 million barrels per day”, he said.

The Senate, in December, 2021, passed a budget of N17,126,873,917,692 trillion.

The revised sum of N17.3 trillion,  in contrast with the 2022 budget of 17.13 trillion passed last year, represents a N193 billion naira increase.

The passage of the Appropriations Act, 2022 (Amendment) Bill, Thursday, followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Appropriations. 

Out of the total sum of N17,319,704,091,019 trillion naira passed, N817,699,410,210 billion is for Statutory Transfers; N3,978,087,110,437 trillion for Debt Service; N7,108,621,131,849 trillion for Recurrent (Non-Debt Expenditure); and N5,415,296,438,523 trillion for Contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure. 

Also, the Senate approved the total sum of 3.55 trillion for PMS subsidy in 2022, forwarded in two separate requests by the President to the National Assembly for approval.

The President, in a letter to the Legislature dated 10th February, 2022, sought an additional N2.557 trillion to fund subsidy payments from July to December, 2022.

He disclosed that 138 of the 254 projects in the budget totalling N13.24 billion had been identified for deletion.

The National Assembly in December, 2021, had approved the sum of N442.7 billion for subsidy in the 2022 budget for the period of January to June this year. 

Buhari, however, anchored his fresh request on the fact that PMS subsidy was not duly appropriated for in the national budget beyond June.

According to him, the development was as a result of the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act which stops all such payments past the given June deadline. 

In another letter dated 12th April, 2022, President Buhari requested the National Assembly to approve an additional N1 trillion to his earlier N2.557 subsidy request to bring the total amount on payments to N4 trillion for the year 2022.

He explained that the additional request was against the backdrop of adjustments to the 2022 fiscal framework which became imperative due to market developments occasioned by the spike in crude prices, following the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The chamber, accordingly, approved the President’s request for additional N3.557 trillion for PMS subsidy with the passage of the 2022 Appropriations Act (Amendment) Bill, Thursday.

It also approved N192.52 billion aggregate increase sought by the executive, and an additional provision of N182.45 billion to cater for the needs of the Nigerian Police Force to enhance their morale.

The Senate, after passing the 2022 Appropriations Act (Amendment) Bill, adjourned till the 26th of April, 2021.

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