Buhari presents N8.83 trillion budget in rowdy session

By Sageer Kabeer

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, presented N8.83 trillion budget proposals for 2019 amidst a rowdy session.

Buhari’s presentation of the budget at a joint session of the National Assembly was marred by rowdiness, with some lawmakers booing and jeering at him.

Other lawmkers holding placards interrupted the president’s presentation with dissenting comments.

The opposition lawmakers sang solidarity songs while shouting “lies. Propaganda” as the president was reeling out his achievements.

“Freedom cometh by struggle, freedom come by struggle by struggle, freedom come,” they sang.

The president was interruped when he started started talking about the strides of his administration.

Buhari, earlier, tried to maintain his composure but the visibly aggrieved lawmakers continued interjecting him.

The president thereafter said, “May I appeal to the honourable members that the world is watching us… we’re supposed to be above this.”

Instead of reasoning with the president, the lawmakers continued heckling him.

Some of the lawmakers pointing at the president, shouted “grass cutter” refering to the corruption scandal that forced th exit of Babachir Lawal, as secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).

However, the jeers were also replied by chanting of some pro-Buhari lawmakers,  who sang the “Sai Baba,”  “four more years” song to encourage the president.

The rowdiness prevented the Speaker of the House of Representative Yakubu Dogara, from saying the closing remark after the presentation.

2019 budget details

Details of the proposed budget show that N2.14 trillion will be used for debt servicing while capital expenditure is expected to gulp N2.031 trillion.

The proposed recurrent expenditure is N4.04 trillion, statutory transfer is N492.36 billion, and a sinking fund of N120 billion.

The 2019 budget was prepared on the assumption of $60 per barrel with crude oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day, and at exchange rate of N305 to $1.

Other assumptions include a real GDP growth of 3.01 per cent and inflation rate of 9.98 per cent.