By Folasade Folarin
Mr Victor Muruako, Acting Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), says the passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly is a relief to the nation.
Muruako said this while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, in reaction to the recent passage of the budget.
He said it would also bring hope to the populace and boost the economy.
He also said the crude oil benchmark which was increased from 45 dollars per barrel to 51 dollars per barrel was the right thing to do, considering the current rice of crude oil globally.
“The crude oil price benchmark is very realistic because if you look at the current crude oil price you will see that 51 dollars is fair enough, because the essence of these things is not to have an unrealistic estimate.
“Presently, crude is going for 78 to 80 dollars per barrel and I think 51 dollars is even conservative but it is better to be on the safe side, so for me it is a commendable effort,” Muruako said.
He also said the increase in the budget estimate by the National Assembly by N508 billion was in the interest of the country.
Muruako added that the legislative arm had been working very closely with the executive to ensure that things are done properly.
The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N9.12 trillion from the N8.61 trillion proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari in November, 2017.
The budget expenditure was premised on oil price benchmark of 51 dollars per barrel as against 45 dollars proposed by the President.
Crude oil production was bench-marked at 2.3 million barrels per day and exchange rate of N305 to one dollar.
NAN reports that economic analysts have, over the months, expected the budget to be passed by the National Assembly, citing grave consequences the delay could cause for the economy and the nation at large. (NAN)