The Federal Government Tuesday formally released the revised 2012 budget to the National Assembly with President Goodluck Jonathan seeking the lawmakers’ expeditious approval for the new budget figures.
The N4. 648 trillion reviewed budget estimate is about N101 billion less than the original N4.749 trillion presented by the President on December 13, 2011.
In a covering letter to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senator David Mark and Hon Aminu Tambuwal respectively, Jonathan said the revision of the 2012 budget proposal was necessitated by "recent domestic developments, key among which was the partial withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products and the ripple effect on government expenditure items.”
He therefore urged the lawmakers to “consider and approve these revised proposals expeditiously.”
Highlights of the revised budget show that total recurrent expenditure has been slashed to N2,432,432,108,877 from the original N2,471,814,067,335 while total capital expenditure was reduced to N1,284,243,952,454 from the original N1,319,777, 651,919.
The revised budget further sought a fresh allocation of N888 billion for subsidy payments while also raising the oil benchmark to $75 per barrel of crude oil.
Some of the statutory transfers include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which allocation was reduced from the N40 billion proposed in the original budget to N35 billion; National Judicial Commission (NJC), which allocation was reduced from N85 billion to N75 billion; Niger Delta Ministry's allocation was slashed from N54 billion to N48 billion and the Universal Basic Education, which was cut from N68 billion to N63 billion.
The N150 billion originally proposed for the National Assembly was however retained in the revised budget proposal.
A selected review of some of the sectoral changes show that the recurrent allocation of the Presidency was cut to N25 billion from the previous N27 billion, while its capital allocation also went down to N14.68 billion from N15.8 billion.
Also, the recurrent allocation to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was reduced from N47 billion to N45 billion while its capital allocation was also slashed from N23.5 billion to N22 billion.
On the other hand, the recurrent allocation to Defence, was raised from N291 billion to N296 billion, while its capital allocation was increased from N34.67 billion to N35.967 billion.
The capital allocations to the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) was retained at N64 billion while the Education Ministry has its recurrent allocation slashed slightly from N345 billion to N342 billion and its capital allocations also went down slightly from N55.05 billion to N54.650billion.
The president in the letter expressed his gratitude for what he described as, “the enduring productive partnership between the National Assembly and the executive arms of government in discharging our shared responsibility for the nation-building and the patriotism, commitment and support that the Distinguished members of the senate have consistently demonstrated.”