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PDP Senator Calls For 2019 Budget Increase By N10 Trillion

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A People’s Democratic Party senator, Mao Ohuabunwa, Tuesday called for the Nigerian senate to “jack up� the 2019 budget by 10 trillion Naira.

“Instead of reducing, we should ‘jack up’ the budget by 10 trillion,� Ohuabunwa said during the plenary.

The
2019 appropriation bill sent by the President is N8.82 trillion. The
spending list, N8,826,636,578,915, has a recurrent expenditure of N4
trillion while N2 trillion goes for capital expenditure with N2.2
trillion and N492 billion for debt servicing and statutory transfers
respectively.

Ohuabunwa complained that the two trillion
naira allocated to the capital expenditure is not enough due to the
various ongoing projects.

“What can two trillion do when we have ongoing projects,� he questioned.

“We
need to block leakages and ensure taxes are collected and put into good
use in the economy such as the Basic Health fund which Senate
President, Bukola Saraki started,� Ohuabunwa added.

“We are
consolidating poverty. We need to really look at this budget. Instead of
reducing, we should ‘jack up’ the budget by 10 trillion. What can 2
trillion do when we have on going projects.�- Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.

— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) March 19, 2019

However,
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe while reacting to the budget said, “With a
total debt service of 25.7% and capital budget at 23%, it means we are
paying more debt.

“This is a budget of impossibilities. Out of
every 1 Naira, 68kobo is paid out. The Federal Government needs to go
back to the drawing board,� he added.

Meanwhile, the Senate passed the appropriation bill for a second reading on Tuesday.

Senators,
last Wednesday, commenced the debate on the budget with some of them
expressing fears about the “high level of debt� the country was getting
into.

Some of the senators expressed reservations about the plans
by the government to borrow from both internal and domestic sources to
fund the 2019 budget.

The senators said should Nigeria continue
to borrow money to fund the deficits in her annual budgets, the country
would be hugely indebted in the end without any means to repay.

After the second reading of the bill, it was referred to relevant committees of the Senate for further action.

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