The atmosphere at the National Assembly was calm as President Muhammadu Buhari presents the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the legislature today.
The President was scheduled to arrive at 11am and lay the budget before a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Men of the Nigeria Police and operatives of the Department of State Services were spearheading security operations in and around the complex.
Presidential Guards Brigade, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, among others, were also on the ground.
The Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori, was in the House chamber to conduct a rehearsal for the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters ( Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who will guide Buhari on his movement and presentation in the chamber.
Workers at the National Assembly, under the auspices of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, who had crippled business and legislative activities as part of their four-day warning strike, respected the day and were not seen around the vicinity.
The workers, who barricaded the entrances to the National Assembly on Monday, and had earlier picketed the chambers, were still at the main entrance to the premises as of 8 am, had resolved to stay away from the premises pending the time the budget presentation would last.
While businesses have remained closed, security operatives conducted multiple checks at each of the gates on the premises.
In the budget presented, President Muhammadu Buhari proposed a budget of N8.83 trillion for 2019.
And his speech highlighted he made mention of few points;
1.Today, we will review economic development over the last three-and-half years with emphasis on 2018. We will also highlight the budget for 2019
2.The last three-and-half years have been challenging both home and abroad. Both oil and non-oil markets have been volatile. There have been disruptions in oil production in the country.
3.However, we have cause to be optimistic about the future. The economy has recovered from recession. We have done more work with less resources in Agriculture, Social Development and Infrastructure.
4.We have intervened several times to support states in the payment of salaries. The Federal Government has also sustained its efforts to curb corruption through the comprehensive cooperation of the single treasury account
5.We have also made efforts to end the insurgencies in affected areas of the country.
6.We thank the Armed Forces and Security Agencies for their efforts and sacrifices in protecting the nation. We have also made many efforts to enhance transparency and accountability in public service delivery.
7.Inflation has declined from 18.2% in January to 11.28% in November. Foreign Capital Influence has also improved.
8.Trading is a significant contributor to our country’s economy. But we must strengthen other areas such as Information Technology and Entertainment; all hands must be on deck to ensure the country succeeds.
9.In Agriculture, we are seeing increased investments in all areas of the sector. Indeed, we are on course to achieve good security in the nearest future.
10.We also prioritized the completion of already ongoing projects as opposed to starting new ones.
11.We have included the implementation for the National Minimum Wage. I will be sending a Bill to this National Assembly, on this.
12.To further support SME’s, we have set aside N15 billion while the sum of N10 billion has been granted to BOI for this purpose.
13.I hereby present and lay the 2019 Budget to the floor of the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
14.I hereby present and lay the 2019 Budget to the floor of the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
15.This is my last Budget Speech to the 8th National Assembly.