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National Assembly to receive N13.08tn 2021 budget proposal by Thursday

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said President Muhammadu Buhari might submit the 2021 budget proposal to the National Assembly on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

She said the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for the year was projected at N2.083tn, while oil benchmark was put at $40 per barrel; oil production at 1.86 million barrels per day (bpd), Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target at three per cent, inflation target at 11.95 per cent and foreign exchange (forex) set at N379 to $1. It also has a total aggregate expenditure of 29 per cent CAPEX with a deficit of N4.48tn

“The total budget proposal that is made for 2021 is to enable us to attain a more inclusive growth and also to achieve the key objectives of government, which includes stimulating the economy, creating jobs, enhancing growth and creating infrastructural investment, also promoting manufacturing and local production.”

She expressed hope that Nigeria’s economy would recover to the path of growth early in 2021, hence projected revenue for the 2021 budget is N7.89tn and aggregate expenditure of N13.08tn and that the budget also integrated 60 government-owned enterprises far above the 10 incorporated for the 2020 budget.

The minister also said the 2021 budget had been able to make more provision for human capital development, hence the Ministry of Health had its provision almost doubled, Daily Trust reported.

She explained that, “The Ministry of Education has a significant increase. The details of the budget will be provided to the country after the president submits the budget which we hope may be on October 8.

“So, the details will be out. And following Mr. President’s submission, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will also engage in a world press conference to provide the details. But what is unique about this is that the provision for human capital development, especially health, is doubled.”

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, explained why the Federal Government is eyeing a growth rate of three per cent despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Agba said this was because economic activities had picked up while the country had seen a steady increase in revenue.

“We expect to have more revenues to fund the budget. There is also a lot of improvement on our revenue generation. Even though we haven’t gotten to where we want to be, we have seen steady increase in revenue from 2018 till today and we expect that trajectory to continue as we implement the strategic revenue and growth initiative.”

Director General of the Budget Office, Akabueze, said the budget proposal was a reflection of the government’s switch to implementing the January to December fiscal year despite the COVID-19 interruption.

Every agency of the government had received at least 50 per cent of their 2020 capital budget released to them.

“Despite the challenges of this year, this may be one year we won’t record the highest level of capital budget performance for a while. It is also reflective of the switch to implementing the January to December fiscal year despite interruption of COVID-19”, he stated.

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