Abuja (Nigeria) – President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented N6.08 trillion as the estimated budget for 2016 to the joint session of the National Assembly.
This the first time in many years that a sitting president would physically present the budget estimate to the National Assembly.
In the budget, President Buhari said the federal government plans to spend N6.08tn during the 2016 fiscal year.
Buhari said the 2016 budget was 20 percent higher than the N4.493tr budget of 2015.
Of the proposed sum, he said N1.8tn was set aside for capital expenditure, which represents 30 percent of the entire budget.
The N6.08 trillion budget proposal was predicated on $38 per barrel oil benchmark and N190 exchange rate.
The President, however, said the proposed budget is already facing challenges since the bench mark for crude was now trading at $32, which is already $6 less than what government is proposing.
From the figures appropriated in the budget, the Education sector got the largest allocation of N396 billion.
N296 billion was earmarked for the Health sector while Defence received an allocation of N294 billion.
Touching on the contentious issue of pump price of petrol, the President said that there would be no increase in the pump price of petrol.
“Indeed tough decisions must be made but this does not mean that we would increase the level of pains being felt by Nigerians,” he said.
He apologized to Nigerians for the lingering fuel scarcity, describing it as the “unfortunate result of speculators and resistance to change”.
The President also promised a reduction of taxes for small businesses in the country.
The President also revealed that 500 000 teachers would be recruited, trained and deployed into the educational sector
The occasion was moderated by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who is also the chairman of the joint session of the National Assembly, and it had top government functionaries in attendance.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chief Justice of the Federation, Mahmud Mohammed , cabinet members and leading members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were among those present.