• Wednesday March 28, 2018 08:40 AM
  • NILS Press Corps
In a bid to ensure wider participation of the Nigerians and various interest groups as well as major stakeholders in the budgeting process, the two Chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 began a Joint Public Hearing on the 2018 Appropriation Bill. The event, being the second of its kind was organized by both the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriation.

The Public Hearing was jointly declared open at the Senate Room 0.22 of the New Senate Wing by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara.
The Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara in a remark on the occasion asserted that Public Hearing is the platform which the legislature provides for the citizens to participate in governance. This was done in pursuant of the legislature’s role of representation on one hand and in fulfilment of constitutional conjunction under Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles State Policy in Section 14 (2) (c) of the Constitution which provides that the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured.

Accordingly, the 2018 Budget, also known as the “Budget of Consolidation” rides on the expectations that it will consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2018 – 2020.
As Nigeria comes out of recession, the 2018 Budget is expected to be one of the most important tools in speeding up the economic growth and delivering on the expectations of Nigerian citizens. The 2018 budget estimate of N8.61 trillion is predicated on the following indices:

a) Oil Price Benchmark of $45 per barrel.
b) Oil Production estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day
c) Exchange rate of N305 to $1.
d) Real GDP growth of 3.5 percent.
e) Inflation rate of 12.4 percent.

The Joint Public Hearing heralded major stakeholders that include Members of the National Assembly, Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government, the Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO), Civil Society Groups, Pressure Groups and a host others.