BREAKING NEWS

Highlights of the N13.08 trillion 2021 appropriation bill presented by President Buhari



The senate President Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday said all COVID-19 safety protocols would be strictly observed at Thursday’s presentation of 2021 budget estimates by President Muhammadu Buhari.



Buhari is scheduled to present the N13.08trn 2021 budget proposal to a joint session of both chambers of the National Assembly by 11:00hrs.



Lawan said due to the situation of COVID-19, the budget presentation would be abridged and last for one hour.


 

He said only few executive members, relevant to the budget, would accompany Buhari into the chamber.



He said: “The joint session normally take place in the chamber of the House of Representatives. It’s going to be the same. It’ll take place there, but by this time around, because of the situation of COVID-19, we’ve made arrangements to observe social distancing in the chamber.



“We also have to wear or face masks mandatorily. We’re going to also abridge the entire event because we’ll be many there. So, the entire event will last just about an hour.



Meanwhile, President Buhari commends the lawmakers for approving the 2020 MTEF and the 2020 revised budget.



The Nigerian economy is currently facing serious challenges, President Buhari said.



He said he has worked hard to ensure the early submission of the 2021 to 2023 MTEF and the 2021 budget and hoped that the budget will be given a speedy consideration.



He said though the economy is facing serious challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria’s economy performed better than that of many other countries.



GDP growth was projected to be negative in the third quarter of the year. We hope to make recovery in 2021, the president said.



Mr Buhari says the government is making efforts to make life easier for Nigerians.



The 2020 budget, he said, was prepared to have a deficit of N4.8 trillion to be financed mainly by borrowing.



He said the budget yielded 1.18 million barrels per day up till June as against 1.88mbpd projected for the entire year. He, however, said the average oil price was over $40 a barrel, compared to the $28 a barrel contained in the revised 2020 budget.



The president said every MDA has received at least 50 per cent of its budget in line with his earlier directive.



For the first time in many years, Nigeria commenced implementation of budget in the first quarter.



Revenue generation remains our major challenge. Nevertheless, government is determined to meet up with growing expenditure commitment through borrowing.



Government is also determined to deliver on key policies and programmes.



We are also accelerating the construction of 337 rural roads across communities to enhance local markets.



He said he is accelerating the construction 337 rural roads that are key to agriculture.


He said the Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line has been completed after 30 years of neglect. He said the Lagos-Ibadan rail will soon commence full operation while the Abuja-Kaduna rail is working well.


He said he hopes to complete the construction of the second Niger bridge before the end of his tenure In 2023.


Second Niger bridge is about 46 per cent complete and we hope to complete it before the end of my tenure in 2023, Mr Buhari said.


We are determined to get rid of kidnappers and criminals in our midst, the president said.


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The President presented a budget of N13.08trn as the estimate for the 2021 fiscal year.



In the budget tagged “Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience”, N5.75trn was earmarked for recurrent expenditure, N3.33trn for capital projects while N3.12trn is for debt servicing.



The president said the National Assembly to get N128b for the year, while a sum of N75bn is set aside for youth empowerment in 2021.



Cruel oil price is pegged at $40 per barrel while exchange rate is expected to be N379 to $1.


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