LIVE UPDATE: President Buhari presents 2018 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday afternoon presented the 2018 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The session is moderated by Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

Follow PREMIUM TIMES for live updates of the budget presentation.

It gives us great delight to see you (Buhari) in person, Saraki says in his opening remarks after the Christian and Muslim prayers

We must continue to work together to steady the ship of this (economic) recovery – Saraki

We must ensure that our borrowing is targeted at productive projects – Saraki

Implementation of the 2018 budget must anchor on the Made in Nigeria project – Saraki

The current rate of rural to urban migration is alarming and unsustainable – Saraki

It is pleasing to note that the budget is been presented early. This is a welcome development – Saraki

Immediate steps must be taken to make the 2018 budget an employment-oriented one – Saraki

Saraki concludes speech, invites President Buhari to present budget.

President Buhari thanks all Nigerians for support and prayers while he was on medical vacation.

The 2018 budget will consolidate on the achievements of previous budget – Buhari

2018 is expected to be a year of better outcomes – Buhari

Only tailored Nigerian solutions can fix Nigeria’s unique problems – Buhari

Crop production has been one of the main contributors to non-oil growth which rose to 0.45 per cent – Buhari

Bitumen exploration in Ondo is being executed – Buhari

We all want a country that is safe, stable, and secure, Buhari on threats in Niger Delta

A GDP growth of 9 percent is expected in the 2018 budget, says President Buhari

Higher crude oil price supported our economic recovery in 2017 – Muhammadu Buhari

Ogoni clean up is ongoing and being supported by international community – Buhari

Despite the downturn in oil prices …. this administration was able to invest an unprecedented over N1.2 trillion in capital budgets through the 2016 budget – Buhari

We have asked the SWF to look inwards and invest locally – Buhari

As at October 30, 2017, our external reserves increased to $34 billion – Buhari

President Buhari noted that the administration through its logical and user friendly reforms has been able to move the country on the ranking of countries in ease of doing business from 169 in 2016 and recently to 146.

In 2016, this administration started allocating at least 30 per cent of our budget to capital expenditure. This is being maintained – Buhari

We have pushed the Abuja rail project to 98 per cent completion in 18 months from 40 per cent – Buhari

Contractors were being owed trillions of Naira when this administration came into power. In some, we have made payments while in others we are assessing the liabilities – Buhari

Our power sector reform still remains a work in progress – Buhari

The FG will be launching the first African Sovereign Trade Bond in December 2017 – Buhari

Over 766km were constructed or rehabilitated across the country in 2017 – Buhari

We have spent time in identifying alternative means of funding capital projects in the 2017 budget. For example, the N100 billion Sukuk financing for construction of 25 roads across the country – Buhari

President Buhari noted that the country has grown tremendously its power generation sector but still has challenges in areas of distribution

In sourcing for alternative means of power, we have signed agreement with 14 solar companies – Buhari

We have purchased 10 locomotives and two coaches for the Abuja-Kaduna rail line…we plan to commission this in December 2017.

Food security is an important aspect of this administration’s security agenda – Buhari

Anybody involved with food smuggling is a threat to our national security and will therefore be dealt with – Buhari

The President said 6 crop processing zones will be established in 2018 to develop infrastructure for production and processing of crops

President Buhari bemoaned the practice of under remittance of revenue by state-owned entities

This year we have worked very hard to achieve an earlier submission of the MTEF and the 2018 appropriation bill – Buhari

N2.442 trillion oil revenue projected for 2018 – Buhari

There will be privatisation of some non-oil assets, the president explains.

Agencies are not to conduct recruitment without all necessary approvals. Any violations will be sanctioned – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday formally presented an N8.6 trillion 2018 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.

Dubbed the ‘budget of consolidation,’ the budget was about 16 per cent increase from the N7.44 trillion appropriated in 2017.

Mr. Buhari announced that the budget is projected at an oil price of $45 per barrel and an estimate of 2.3 million barrels per day.

He added that the budget is further projected on an exchange rate of N305 to $1, a real Gross Domestic Growth of 3.5 per cent and inflation rate of 12.4 per cent.

At present, domestic debts account for about 79% of the total debt. We will reduce this to 60% in 2018 and increase external to 40%.

Our commitment to the security of lives and property remain absolute – Buhari

The President said 9.8 billion Naira will be set aside for the Mambilla power project and N300 billion for construction and rehabilitation roads.

Budget provision to the Niger Delta Development Commission has increased from N53.89 billion from N34.2 billion in 2017.

We will increase our focus on cybercrime and abuse of social media through hate speech – Buhari

I appeal to you to swiftly consider and pass the 2018 Appropriation Bill – Buhari

I thank you most sincerely for your attention, may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Buhari says as he ends his speech.

Speaker Dogara gives the Vote of Thanks.

Dogara called for unity between the Executive and the Legislature.

Although recession has technically ended, most Nigerian families are still struggling – Dogara

Dogara noted that preparation of the 2018 budget kicked off on a note of poor relationship between the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and the National Assembly. He said he hopes this won’t affect the passage and implementation of the budget.