President Muhammadu Buhari has submitted a proposed amount of N8.83 trillion as the 2019 budget to the National Assembly. President Buhari submitted the budget proposal, also known as the 2019 Appropriation Bill, to a joint sitting of both the Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday. The budget presentation, however, began on a dramatic note as lawmakers from the two major parties- the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- had engaged themselves in a shouting match. While the APC lawmakers were applauding and cheering the President with the chant “Sai Baba”, the PDP lawmakers retorted by chorusing “No” whenever the President reeled out his achievements, thereby causing interruptions during his speech. The melee prompted the President to reprimand the lawmakers, reminding them that there needed to comport themselves as the event was being broadcast live worldwide. The proposed budget estimate is N900 billion lower than the N9.1 billion figure currently implemented as this year’s budget. In his address, the President said N4.04 trillion or 50.31 per cent is earmarked for recurrent expenditure, while N2.03 trillion representing 22.98 per cent is earmarked for capital projects. In addition, N492.36 billion has been budgeted for statutory transfers; N2.14 trillion for debt servicing and provision of N120 billion as “sinking fund.” The President told the lawmakers that the sinking fund would be used to â€œretire maturing bonds to local contractors.” On the benchmarks for the budget, President Buhari hinged the 2019 budget proposal on an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, and a production estimate of 2.3 million barrels of oil per day. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated to grow at 3.01 per cent and have an inflation rate of 9.98 per cent. The President put the total projected revenue for the incoming fiscal year at N6.97 trillion; with oil revenue estimated at N3.73 trillion, and non-oil revenue estimated at N1.39 trillion. The non-oil revenue is expected to produce N799.52 billion from company income tax; N229.34 billion from value added tax, and N302.5 billion from customs duties. The total estimated revenue for the 2019 budget is three per cent lower than the 2018 estimate of N7.17 trillion. The budget deficit is projected to decrease to N1.86 trillion or 1.3 per cent of the GDP in 2019 from N1.95 trillion projected for 2018. â€œThis reduction is in line with our plan to progressively reduce deficit and borrowings over the medium term,â€ he said.