December 21, 2020

National Assembly Passes N13.58trn budget for 2021

2021 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari presenting the 2021 budget to the National Assembly.

*** Jerks it by N505 billion

***Benchmark Price of Crude Oil pegged at $40USD Per Barrel; Crude Oil Production at 1.86mbpd; Exchange Rate at N379/US$; and Gross Domestic Production (GDP) Growth Rate at 3.00 percent.

***2020 budget: N’Assembly won’t approve another extension request, says Lawan

***Adjourns plenary till 26th January, 2021

By Henry Umoru & Levinus Nwabughiogu

The National Assembly, Monday passed the 2021 Appropriation Bill to the tune of N13, 588, 027,886, 175 trillion as an aggregate expenditure.

The approval was done during an emergency session convened for the purpose of passing the budget.

The approved budget figure by the National Assembly comprises total Capital Supplementation of N1,060,751,051,650 and total Capital Expenditure of N4,125,149,354,222, Statutory Transfer stands at N496,528,471,273; recurrent Expenditure of N5,641,970,060,680 and Gross Domestic Product, GDP growth rate of 3.00 Percent.

The passed budget Bill by the National Assembly also provided the sum of N3,324,380,000 trillion for debt servicing.

The passage of the Appropriation Bill was after the clause by clause consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations as presented by the Chairman, Senator Barau Jibrin, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kano North.

The Appropriation Bill was read the third time and passed after the Senators went into the Committee of Supply.

The budget estimate was increased by the sum of N505, 607,317,942 from the estimate of N13, 082, 420, 568,233 presented to the joint sitting of National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8, 2020.

In his presentation, Chairman of the Committee, Jibrin Barau (APC – Kano North), while giving highlights of the bill, said out of the total sum of N13,588,027,886,175 for the fiscal year 2021, N496,528,471,273 is for Statutory transfers; N3,324,380,000,000 is for Debt Service; N5,641,970,060,680 is for Recurrent Expenditure; and N4,125,149,354,222 for Capital Expenditure.

According to him, the 2021 budget is predicated on the parameters approved by the National Assembly when it considered the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper last week Thursday.

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Benchmark Price of Crude Oil was fixed at $40USD Per Barrel; Crude Oil Production at 1.86mbpd; Exchange Rate at N379/US$; and Gross Domestic Production (GDP) Growth Rate at 3.00 percent.

The Budget Deficit of N5,196,007,992,292 will be financed from sale of assets and privatization with projected estimate of N205, 153, 707, 813 while N709, 685, 716, 725 is expected from multilateral/ bilateral project- tied loans.

For Capital Expenditure in the year 2021, the sum of N24,090,340,416 was budgeted for the Presidency; N127,850,984,984 for Ministry of Defence; N7,994,280,245 for Ministry of Foreign Affairs; N19,721,066,865 for Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; N38,846,293,565 for Ministry of Interior; N2,491,111,568 for Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; N218,432,074 for Auditor General of the Federation; N17,882,480,948 for Ministry of Police Affairs; N17,664,285,343 for Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy; and N45,647,587,613 for the Office of the National Security Adviser.

According to the approved budget, others such as the Infrastructure Concessionary Regulatory Commission had N353,678,953; Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation – N45,637,061,225; Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs – N8,872,787,424; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – N211,077,457,584; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning – N376,359,450,498; Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment – N64,760,781,172; Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment – N63,526,109,193; Federal Ministry of Science and Technology – N107,061,118,360; Federal Ministry of Transport – N209,736,113,910; Federal Ministry of Aviation – N70,189,215,332; and Federal Ministry of Power – N206,745,895,389.

Also, N3,340,140,120 was approved for Ministry of Petroleum Resources; N12,605,747,806 for the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; N399,694,565,222 for the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; N110,455,765 for the National Salaries and Wages Commission; N261,170,602 for the Fiscal Responsibility Commission; N159,745,000,315 for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; N5,097,558,027 for the Federal Ministry of Justice; N1,363,636,403 for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission; N37,330,762,421 for the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

The sum of N22,024,592,197 was approved for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; N10,639,249,276 for the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development; N11,204,210,256 for Ministry of Women Affairs; N156,172,307,765 for the Federal Ministry of Education; N134,591,025,027 for Federal Ministry of Health; N24,554,710,490 for Federal Ministry of Environment; N4,839,951,093 for National Population Commission; and N75,768,539,782 for the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

In his contribution Senator Stella Oduah, PDP, Anambra North described the 2021 budget as “well-intended and articulated” by the Executive arm of government.”

According to her, the 2021 Appropriations bill accorded special attention to poverty alleviation, security and health, adding that, “the budget is emphatic in addressing the country’s infrastructural decay.”

“This budget for a change, is well focused on the people’s welfare, and that was prioritized.”

On his part, Senator Gabriel Suswam, PDP, Benue North East while calling for the unanimous passage of the Appropriations bill by members of the upper chamber, queried the omission of the deficit level of the budget by the Committee.

Also in his contribution, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, APC, Niger East said, “Looking at what has been appropriated, the Ministry of Defence; and the Armed Forces, most of what they would need has been considered in this budget.

“And, if there’s no security in this country, the whole of this budget is as good as nothing.

“So, this is a challenge to the Armed Forces of this country, that we at the National Assembly have done the needful. We must design a way to protect lives and properties,” Musa said.

The Senate, after approving the Votes and Proceedings for Monday, 21st December, 2020, adjourned plenary till 26th January, 2021.

In his remarks after the passage, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that the National Assembly would not accede to another request from the Executive to extend the capital implementation of the 2020 budget.

Lawan who noted that the National Assembly’s approval granting extension for implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget last week, should therefore be fully utilized by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, said that the extension of capital implementation of the 2020 budget till 31st March, 2021; alongside the implementation of the 2021 budget starting in January 2021, would guarantee sufficient injection of funds into Nigeria’s economy.

The President of the Senate said, “For Nigerians, this budget that has been passed in the National Assembly today, is to ensure that the economy is supported fully through public expenditure, because the economy of our country depends largely on public expenditure.

“The budget extension period for implementation of the 2020 budget, which we did last year, is to ensure that the funds that are available for 2020 are not lost.

“So, there will be two budgets running; funds from 1st January, 2021, up to 31st March, 2021; and then the implementation of the 2021 budget itself to start from January. That is absolute fight against the recession we are suffering from.

“With a projected 3 percent growth in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 2021 budget, we believe that the recession which Nigeria is in will be over before the end of the first quarter.”

Lawan, who urged the Executive arm of government to ensure the implementation of the 2020 budget till March 2021 as extended last week by the Legislature, however, warned that the National Assembly would reject any further extension request on the implementation of capital expenditure contained in the 2020 budget.

He said, “I want to urge the executive arm of government, first to ensure that they implement the 2020 budget that will last up till 31st March, 2021.

“There will be no extension after 31st March. Everyone must be on their toes in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure they implement the budget 2020.

“And for 2021, we have to do everything and anything possible to ensure that we implement the budget like we tried to do in 2020.

“I believe that the economy of Nigerians will receive the right kind of boost from the implementation of the two budgets.”

Vanguard News Nigeria