2020: Senate approves N453.2bn for NDDC
The Senate, on Monday, passed the 2021 Budget with an aggregate expenditure of N13,588,027,886,175.
Tribune Online checks revealed that the budget estimate 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.
Further investigation revealed that the increase in the budget estimate approved by the Senate was sequel to the late receipt of spending request for the upscaling of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) from the Executive arm, amounting to N365 Billion.
The Senate also justified the increase based on “the discovery of under projection of the total revenue to the tune of N100Billion.”
A breakdown of the budget components showed that the Senate reduced estimate for debt servicing from N3,344,380,000,000 to N3,324, 380,000,000.
The lawmakers approved as Statutory Transfer, N496, 528,471, 273 and N5,641,970,060,680 as Recurrent Expenditure. It equally retained N4,125, 149, 354, 222 as Capital Expenditure.
The Budget contained an aggregate revenue inflow of N7,886, 412, 575, 941.
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The breakdown included, N3,502,592, 658,607, being share of Federation Revenues and N961, 898, 590,939 as Independent Revenue.
The sum of N354, 852, 661, 650 would come as Aids and Grants. Over N300,000,000,000 would come as Special Funds/ Account Receipts while the sum of N1,348, 837, 107, 960 would be earned from the sale of Government-owned Enterprises.
The Budget Deficit of N5,196,007,992,292 will be financed from the sale of assets and privatisation with a projected estimate of N205, 153, 707, 813 while N709, 685, 716, 725 is expected from multilateral/ bilateral project- tied loans. The Senate equally approved N4,281, 168, 567, 753 allocated for debt servicing.
The Senate offered a hint that it would expect a Supplementary Appropriation Bill from the Executive arm against the backdrop of the increase in the global price of crude oil from the benchmark of $40 per barrel.
The Red Chamber further noted that no provision was made for production, storage and distribution of the vaccine to combat the pandemic, Coronavirus in the 2021 Budget.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan in his concluding remarks shortly after the passage of the budget urged President Buhari to expedite action on the Supplementary Appropriation Bill for its early passage in January.
He maintained that the National Assembly just like the Executive arm was concerned about the impact of COVID-19 and would support all measures to safeguard the lives of Nigerians.
He said: “We are expecting the Supplementary Appropriation Bill as early as possible to meet the vaccine needs of Nigerians.
“We must make provisions for the production, storage and distribution of the vaccines for all Nigerians.
“Today, we shall be meeting with all related agencies to discuss thoroughly on how they intend to go about purchase, storage and distribution across the country and general application to all Nigerians.
“We must ensure that the vaccines are available. It is an obligation we owe Nigerians to save their lives. Equally important is the funding of security agencies. So, we should be prepared at any time to attend to this.”
In an apparent reference to the prevailing circumstance to run the 2020 and 2021 Budget simultaneously, the President of the Senate however cautioned the Executive arm that the National Assembly would reject any further extension request on the implementation of capital expenditure contained in the 2020 budget.
“I want to urge the executive arm of government, first to ensure that they implement the 2020 budget that will last up till March 31, 2021.
“There will be no extension after March 31. 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.”
2020: Senate approves N453.2bn for NDDC