Categories: BusinessOn the Go

Zainab Ahmed: Buhari will sign revised 2020 budget Friday

Dyepkazah Shibayan

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, says President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the revised budget of N10.8 trillion on Friday.

The national assembly passed the revised budget in June.

The federal government made adjustments to the budget following the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Speaking at a meeting with Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, on Thursday, Ahmed said by the end of September, the lawmakers would have the budget estimates for 2021.

“This for us is a journey towards ensuring that the progress that we have made as a collective to return the fiscal year to January–December is maintained for the 2021 budget as well,” Ezrel Tabiowo, a media aide of Lawan, quoted the minister as saying.

“The president has directed that we must deliver the budget to the national assembly by the end of September.”

Giving an update on the 2020 budget performance, Ahmed said between January and May, the country had an income of N1.48 trillion, an amount representing 56 percent of government’s target.

The minister said oil revenues accounted for N701.6 billion; non-oil tax revenues N439.32 billion; Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections – N213.24 billion and N68.09 billion; and customs collection N158 billion, respectively.

“Other revenues amounted to N339.51 billion, of which Independent revenues was N80.22 billion. Recoveries and Stamp duty collected during the period are yet to be booked in the fiscal accounts,” she said.

On expenditure in the aforementioned, the minister said N1.25 trillion was expended for debt service and N1.32 trillion for personnel cost, including pensions.

As of the end of May 2020, only N253.33 billion had been released for capital expenditure, she said.

She said the oil benchmark for the 2021 fiscal year was fixed at USD$35; and USD$40 for 2022 and 2023, respectively.

“Oil Production (mbpd) was placed at 1.86 for 2021, 2.09 for 2022, and 2.38 for the 2022 fiscal year; while the Exchange Rate remains at N360 to USD$1,” the minister said.

“Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5 million barrels per day, current crude production is about 1.4 million barrels per day – in compliance with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production quota – and an additional 300,000 barrels per day of condensates, totaling about 1.7mbpd.

“The nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to increase from N130,836.1 billion in 2020 to N132,125.4 billion in 2021 and then up to N138,415.8 billion in 2023.”

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