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Senate considers N10.51trn revised budget for 2020

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The Senate on Thursday reconvened to consider President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for approval of the N10.51 trillion revised 2020 budget.

The bill to amend the 2020 appropriation act which scaled second reading on the floor was considered immediately after a letter to that effect from Buhari was read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

DAILY POST recalls that the revised 2020 appropriation Act (amendment) bill as submitted by the Executive to the National Assembly for approval proposed an estimated N10.51 trillion budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

It would also be noted that the revised figure reflects a downward cut by the federal government from the N10.59 trillion passed in December last year.

In his lead debate, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi said out of the revised N10,509,654,033,054 budget, N398,505,979,362 is for Statutory Transfers; N2,951,710,000,000 is for Debt Service; N4,928,525,467,849 is for Recurrent Expenditure; while N2,230,912,585,842 is for contribution to the development fund for Capital Expenditure.

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Yahaya also affirmed that Personnel and Pension cost was retained at N2.83 trillion and N536.72 trillion respectively.

Further, the lawmaker added that the aggregate amount available for the Capital Expenditures – exclusive of Capital in Statutory Transfers – in the revised 2020 budget is N2.23 trillion.

According to the lawmaker, the amount consists of N1.264 trillion for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Government; N100.3 billion for COVID-19 expenditures, N20 billion for capital component for the Special Intervention Programme; N274.85 billion for other Capital supplementation; N141.17 billion Capital budget for Ten GOEs; N42.96 for Donor Grant funded expenditures and N387.30 billion funded by project-tied loans.

Yahaya further explained that the bill was predicated on Oil production of 1.93 million barrels per day and a benchmark oil price of $35 dollars per barrel.

On the exchange rate, he said, “An upward adjustment was made by the Central Bank of Nigeria to N360/US$1, adding that, “while the CBN continues to make strenuous efforts to stabilize the exchange rate, it is generally expected that the naira will suffer further devaluation as Nigeria is projected to lose about US$26 billion in oil revenues.”

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Also Buhari in his letter to the National Assembly noted that it became imperative in view of the sharp decline in crude oil prices and the cut in Nigeria’s crude oil quota occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter reads: “It is with pleasure that I forward the revised 2020 – 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, and Revised Appropriation Bill 2020 for the kind consideration and approval of the Senate.

“Let me seize this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the patriotism, cooperation and support of the leadership and Distinguished members of the Senate in our collective effort to amend the Appropriation Act 2020 and accelerate its implementation.

“It has become necessary to revise the 2020 – 2022 MTEF/FSP and amend the Appropriation Act 2020 in view of the sharp decline in crude oil prices and the cut in Nigeria’s crude oil quota occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. In effect, the assumptions underlying the 2020 appropriations act are no longer sustainable.

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“It is also imperative to adjust expected revenues considering the widespread disruptions in other domestic economic activities, as well as international trade and transportation due to the measures implemented across the world to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Furthermore, it is necessary to allocate resources in the Appropriation Act of 2020 to ensure effective implementation of required emergency measures and other interventions necessary to mitigate the negative socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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