The Nigerian Government has budgeted N13 trillion for the 2021 financial year.
President Muahmmadu Buhari presented the budget proposal to National Assembly on Thursday.
Compared to budget presentations done in previous years, Buhari was only accompanied by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and a few ministers, while the others participated virtually.
The 2021 budget is tagged Budget of economic recovery and resilience.
According to the president, “the main thrust of the 2021 budget is to complete as many ongoing projects as possible”, while giving priority to the ones that most affect the people.
“Personnel costs remain the largest single item of expenditure,” said President Buhari.
He noted that the challenging global and economic environment had major implications on the nation.
He, however, announced that the government did not relent on its effort at poverty alleviation and job creation, saying one of which included the Public Works Programme.
The President said despite the challenges, the government has delivered on key polices, programmes and projects.
Buhari commended the lawmakers for approving the 2020 MTEF and the 2020 revised budget.
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.
According to him, 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 said 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 explained.
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.
“We are determined to get rid of kidnappers and criminals in our midst,” the president said.
He said the 2021 budget drives MDAs to generate revenue, no matter how little. He also urged the Legislature to pay attention to the revenue as much as they do to the expenditure.
“The 2021 budget is the roadmap for post-coronavirus economy.
“It is aimed at accelerating the economic recovery process.
“Crude oil projected at $40bpd, exchange rate at N379 to $1, GDP at three per cent and inflation rate at 11.95 per cent.
“I have directed the Minister of Finance to finalise the Finance Bill and transmit for consideration and passage.
“National Assembly gets N128 billion in 2021 budget as proposed by President Buhari.
“Any government agency that carries out recruitment without authorisation will be sanctioned, Buhari says.
“N380.21b has been allocated to the health ministry,” he stated.
He said all federal staff must be on the IPPIS platform before getting their salaries. He also warned MDAs to seek approval before conducting recruitments, failure to do so according to the president would be met with sanctions.
“N3.8 trillion has been allocated to all MDAs for execution of capital projects.”
He said the capital budget is focused more on completing ongoing projects than execution of new ones.
Buhari said “The education ministry budget has been increased by 65 per cent to improve quality of education of students, the president said.
“N65 billion has been retained in the 2021 budget for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the president said.
“The ongoing IPPIS verification exercise has helped in eliminating ghost workers – President Buhari
“N420 billion has been provided to sustain the Social Investment Programme.”
President Buhari said he has directed all ministers and heads of agencies to be personally available for budget defence organised by NASS.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, the new arrangement became necessary in order to maintain social distancing during the presentation, as a result of the COVID-19.
The Speaker of the House of Representative, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who gave a closing address stated that the House would collaborate with all relevant ministries and agencies to ensure speedy implementation of the 2021 budget.
The lawmakers also passed the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
More deatails later…