N’Assembly Has Transmitted 2021 Budget to Presidency, Says Senator

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Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jubrin, yesterday disclosed that the National Assembly has transmitted the 2021 Appropriation Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.

The two chambers of the National Assembly had last Monday passed the appropriation bill which is to the tune of N13,588,027,886,175 as an aggregate expenditure.

The passage of the appropriation bill 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 three per cent.

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

According to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jubrin, “the harmonised version of the Senate and House of Representatives of the 2021 budget has since been transmitted to the appropriate quarters at the presidency.

“As far as the National Assembly is concerned, we have transmitted the 2021 budget to the appropriate quarters. We don’t know when it would be signed into law,” he said.

Also, Senator Barau Jubrin said that he is not in the know if the presidency is raising any objection to the budget bill as passed by the National Assembly.

Reminded that the year is almost gone, the Senate Committee Chairman on Appropriation said: “It could signed any time, we cannot dictate to them when the budget bill will be signed into law.”

It is not clear whether the increase of the budget bill by N505,607,317,942 by the National Assembly would be acceptable to the executive arm of government as it is in the habit of, in most cases, refusing approval, insisting on amendments.

The presidency has between Monday to Thursday to sign the budget bill into law to effectively give it the January to December authority.

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.

The highlights of the bill out of the total sum of N13,588,027,886,175 for the fiscal year 2021, has N496,528,471,273 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.

The 2021 budget is predicated on the parameters approved by the National Assembly when it considered the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Benchmark Price of Crude Oil was fixed at $40 per barrel; crude oil production at 1.86mbpd; exchange rate at N379/US$; and Gross Domestic Production (GDP) Growth Rate at 3.00 per cent.

The Budget Deficit of N5,196,007,992,292 will be financed from sale of assets and privatisation 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.