2010 budget collapses
?N?Assembly to slash it by 40%
?President stops sharing of excess crude fund
From JAMES OJO, Abuja
Monday, May 24 , 2010
Major economic projects lined up by President Goodluck Jonathan may hit the rocks as the 2010 budget ran into a hitch, less than two months into its implementation.
Daily Sun gathered authoritatively at the weekend that the revenue profile upon which the budget was predicted had shrunk, leaving no choice to government than to cut the budget by as much as 40 per cent.
Already, the Presidency has informed the National Assembly of the development and appropriation committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives have swung into action.
Likewise, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning have been directed to meet the National Assembly to exchange notes over the sectors that will be affected in the overhead and capital re-allocations.
From indications, both the Presidency and the National Assembly had agreed the N4.9trillion 2010 budget was no more realistic in view of recent developments in the world market for crude oil.
Confirming the development, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon Ayoade Adeseun, said the fact that the budget, as passed was facing challenges was real. According to him, the reality of the moment indicated that the National Assembly would be willing to take a second look at the appropriation law at the appropriate time.
Before the recent fall in the price of crude oil in the international market, the rep member said the National Assembly and the Presidency had always engaged in informal interaction through the appropriation committee and officials of the Ministry of Finance on ways to resolve the logjam before it finally got out of hand.
?The challenge facing the budget as passed was basically that of revenue and the blame could not be attributed to any particular person or institution. You are aware of the dwindling revenue fortunes of the country, traceable to the fall in the price of crude oil in the international market.
?The price of crude as at the time the budget was passed was $84 per barrel and the National Assembly decided to peg the benchmark to $67 per barrel, which was used as the revenue projection for the budget; but the price of crude as at today stands at $69 per barrel,? he explained.