At Last, Senate Passes 2014 Budget

CRUDE OIL

Four months after it was presented for approval, the Senate on Wednesday passed the 2014 budget.

The budget was based on a crude oil benchmark of $77.5 per barrel and crude oil production of 2.3883million barrels per day.

The N4,695 trillion budget represents an increase of N53billion of the N4,642 trillion estimate submitted in the appropriation bill by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on December 19 after Jonathan delegated what s traditionally a task for the president because of a dispute with the National.

Of the amount, N408.68 billion was approved for statutory transfers against the N399.68 billion proposed by the executive, while the sum of N712 billion was approved for debt service as proposed.

N2.45 trillion was approved for recurrent non-debt expenditure while the sum of N1,11 trillion was approved for capital expenditure for the 2014 fiscal year, against the N2,43 trillion and N1,10 trillion proposed for recurrent and capital expenditure respectively.

The budget estimates a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 6.75 per cent for the year and an Inflation rate of 9.5 per cent.