Buhari signs N10.8tn revised budget today, says minister

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, met with the leadership of the National Assembly on Thursday to discuss the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

She disclosed that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), would sign the 2020 revised budget on Friday (today).

The minister spoke while briefing principal officers of the Senate and House of Representatives led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

She said Buhari had given directives for the ministry to expedite necessary action so that he could present the 2021  budget estimates to the National Assembly by the end of September this year.

Ahmed said, “In keeping strictly with the January–December budget cycle, the President will tomorrow (Friday) sign into law, the revised N10.8tn budget for the year 2020, which was passed by the National Assembly in June.

“This for us is a journey towards ensuring that the progress that we have made as a collective to return the fiscal year to January – December is maintained for the 2021 budget as well.

“The President has directed that we must deliver the budget to the National Assembly by the end of September.”

Ahmed said between January and May 2020,  the Federal Government’s retained revenue was N1.48tn, which was 56 per cent of government’s target.

She added that out of the sum generated as revenue, oil revenues accounted for N701.6bn; non-oil tax revenues N439.32bn; Companies Income Tax  and Value Added Tax collections, N213.24bn and N68.09bn respectively while the Customs collected N158bn.

She said, “Other revenues amounted to N339.51bn, of which independent revenues was N80.22bn.

“Recoveries and stamp duty collected during the period are yet to be booked in the fiscal accounts.”

On expenditure performance for the same period (January – May 2020), she said that N1.25tn was expended for debt service; and N1.32tn for personnel cost, including pensions.

The finance minister said as of the end of May 2020, only N253.33bn had been released for capital expenditure.

On the 2021 – 2023, she said the oil price benchmark for the 2021 fiscal year was pegged at $35; and $40 for 2022 and 2023.

Oil production (mbpd) was placed at 1.86 for 2021, 2.09 for 2022, and 2.38 for the 2022 fiscal year.

She said the exchange rate remaind at N360 to $1.

<<Punch>>