AFTER several months of committee work, the Senate yesterday passed a budget of N4, 877,209,156,933 for the 2012 fiscal year with an oil benchmark of $72 per barrel. Details of the budget presented by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmad Maccido and passed by the Senate showed that N372, 593, 095, 601 is for statutory transfers and N559, 580, 000,000 for debt service. The recurrent expenditure is put at N2,425,049,954,640 while capital expenditure is N1, 519,986,106,691.
Maccido stated that the budget contains N180 billion for the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) of the Federal Government and N888 billion for fuel subsidy. He added that the Senate raised the oil benchmark from $70 to $72, which helped to reduce the provision for deficit budget of N1.162 billion by N98billion. He explained that the deficit is less than N1billion. Other highlights of the budget are as follows: Crude Oil Production 2.48mbpd; Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate 7.2 per cent: Inflation rate at 9.5 per cent and exchange rate of N155 to a dollar.