The appropriation bill, which is about 16% higher than the 2017 budget, is tagged “Budget of Consolidation”.
The President assured that the 2018 budget would be a consolidation of the earlier ones, noting that 2018 is expected to be a year of better outcomes, while describing the document as “Budget of Consolidation.”
He said at the session that with a benchmark of 45 dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.
“With the economic recovery made so far, it is clear that we made the right decisions.
“And I urge you all to support the Federal Government’s policies towards economic recovery,’’ he said.
Buhari said that the government would continue to develop infrastructure and increase investments in agriculture to attain food security and reduce importation.
He added that while the Federal Government was committed to identifying alternative means of funding new projects, there was need to continue to pursue public private partnership, to provide more infrastructure in the country.
Buhari added the his administration will do everything to alleviate the embarrassment of power in the country. “The power sector reform is still working in progress as we have increased power generation but we still have some challenges in transmission and distribution network,” Buhari said.
In his welcome address, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki tasked the federal government over the 2018 budget; saying how the budget is implemented will be the defining moment of the Buhari Administration.
He noted that the country needed to increase non-oil revenue, adding that infrastructure development must be a continuous priority of the administration.
“In the implementation, we must ensure that projects are not overpriced, while people must see a future for themselves in every corner of this country, ” he said.
Saraki counselled the Federal Government to eliminate what he described as “unnecessary waste” in the budget implementation.