The dispute over the oil benchmark for the 2013 budget may soon snowball into a big fight that could delay the passage and implementation of the budget.
President Goodluck Jonathan had presented the budget proposals to a joint session of the National Assembly explaining that his proposed $75 benchmark was expedient. The Senate had increased the benchmark to $78, arguing that the new benchmark would help government to reduce deficit and domestic borrowing, and increase spending. The House of Representatives insisted that it would not back down from its demand that the benchmark should be $80 per barrel of crude oil.
The aggregate value of the 2013 budget is N4.9tn. Out of the figure, N2.4tn is for recurrent expenditure. The sum of N1.5tn was voted for capital projects, while N591.7bn was earmarked for debt servicing. The balance of N380bn was set aside for statutory transfers.