1. As you are all aware, some weeks ago, the National Assembly passed the 2019 Appropriation Bill which I will be signing into law today.
2. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership of the National Assembly and indeed all the Distinguished and Honourable Members for all the hard work they put in to get us here.
3. You will all recall that in December 2018, I presented our 2019 budget proposal with the theme “Budget of Continuity”. Our goal was to use this budget to move the economy further on the path of inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth.
4. Back then, I proposed a total expenditure of N8.83 trillion to the National Assembly for appropriation targeting strategic and impactful projects and initiatives.
5. However, the 2019 Budget I will be signing into law today provides for aggregate expenditures of N8.92 trillion. This is an increase of N90.33 billion over our submission.
6. This increase reflects changes introduced by the National Assembly. In some areas, expenses we proposed were reduced while in other areas they were increased. There were also certain areas where new additions were introduced into the budget. More details of the approved budget will be provided by the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning.
7. Of course, some of these changes will adversely impact our programs making it difficult for us to achieve the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
8. Although I will be signing this bill, it is my intention to continue to engage the National Assembly to ensure we deliver on our promises. I will therefore be engaging with the leadership of the ninth National Assembly, as soon as they emerge, to address some of our concerns with this Budget.
9. We will also look at how to improve the budget process so that, amongst other things, we can speed up budget consideration processes and return the country to the January to December fiscal year timetable.
10. I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Minister of Finance, Budget Office of the Federation, and everyone who collaborated and worked painstakingly to produce the 2019 Appropriation Bill I am signing today.
11. May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.