. ‘Senate President, look at me now,’ Buhari teases Lawansays oil theft has worsened in the country with loss of Oil to the tune of 1 million barrels per day

By Henry Umoru, ABUJA

The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan has urged the Executive to ensure that the 2023 budget of fiscal stability and transition is used to complete a lot of ongoing projects across the country.

He said it in his welcome address as President Muhammadu Buhari presents his last budget of  N19.76 trillion 2023 Appropriation Bill before the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Lawan said, “this administration has been consistent in ensuring the delivery of landmark infrastructure across the country.

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“The last three Budgets have made generous provisions for different projects. While some have been completed, work on others are ongoing at high paces.

“The 2023 Budget should therefore focus on completing a lot more.”

The President of the Senate has also lamented the high level of oil theft in the country which he said has worsened, with the loss of Oil to the tune of 1 million barrels per day.

Lawan said,  “With conflicting figures, projections have put our losses from this malaise at between 700,000 to 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, leading to about 29 to 35 per cent loss in Oil revenue in the first quarter of 2022.

“This represents an estimated total fall from N1.1 trillion recorded in the last quarter of 2021 to N790 billion in the first quarter of this year.

“The situation has worsened. Recently, the loss of our Oil has reached 1 million barrels per day. Translated into monetary terms, our loss is monumental. The figures show we are not able to meet the OPEC daily quota of 1.8million barrels per day.”

President  Buhari who is at the National Assembly is at the moment presenting the N19.76trillion 2023 Appropriation bill before the Senate and the House of Representatives.

This is the 4th joint session and the last budget presentation by President Buhari in the life of his administration.

Past budgets

Here is a breakdown of his budget presentation since he became the President of the country in 2015.

In 2015, it was a budget sum of N4.5 trillion,  in 2016, it rose to N 6.06 trillion, in 2017, it was N7.44 trilion, in 2018, the budget was jerked to N 9.12 trillion in 2019, it was  N8.9 trillion, in 2020, it rose to N10.33 trillion; in 2021, it was N13.6 trillion and in 2022, it was N17.126 trillion.

To kick start the event, the National Anthem was sung at exactly 10.09 am when the President arrived at the House of Representatives Chamber.

The opening Moslem prayer was said by Senator Sabi Ya’u, Zamfara North.

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