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Senate passes N13.5trn 2021 budget with N5.196trn deficit 



Senate passes N13.5trn 2021 budget with N5.196trn deficit 
Senate has passed N13.588 trillion as 2021 budget as against the N13.08 trillion presented to the joint session of the National Assembly on October 8, 2020.
Out of the budget, a total sum of N3.324 trillion was approved for debt servicing.
The upper legislative chamber also passed N496.528 billion as statutory transfer in a budget that provided N4.125 trillion for capital expenditure and N5.641 trillion as recurrent expenditure.
Specifically, the Senate approved N5.196 trillion as deficit, which it explained would be financed by some multilateral and bilateral project-tied loans worth N709 billion.
The passage of the budget followed the consideration and adoption of the report of Senate Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Senator Barau Jibrin (APC Kano North).
Presenting the report, Senator Jibrin said the committee in preparing  the budget was guided by the revenue parameters approved by the National Assembly, when it considered the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper, FSP
He said the committee adopted 40 dollars per barrel crude oil price benchmark as proposed by the Executive at   1.86mbpd, while exchange rate of N379 was also adopted with Gross Domestic Product, GDP assumption of  3.00 per cent as presented by the executive.
He said the committee, while processing the bill considered  the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic that has negatively affected  virtually every aspect of life, businesses, individuals and revenue profile of  government.
He, however, said in view of the increasing global oil prizes beyond the benchmark of 40 dollars, the executive may wish to submit a Supplementary Appropriation Bill whenever it deems fit.
This, Barau said, would help fund critical areas that would help to accelerate movement of the economy out of recession.
A breakdown of the approved budget  indicates that  a total aggregate expenditure N13, 588,027,886,175.
Recurrent Expenditure was allocated N5,641,970,060,680 while Capital Expenditure was N4,125,149,354,222.
Statutory transfer got N496,528,471,273 while debt servicing was allocated N3,324,380,000,000.
Sectorial highlights of the  passed  2021 Appropriation Bill  for capital expenditure indicates that Ministry of Works and Housing was allocated N399 billion, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning  was allocated  N376 billion, Ministry of Agriculture N211 billion,  Ministry of Transport, N209 billion, Ministry of  Power, N206 billion, Ministry of Defence was allocated N127 billion among others.
President of Senate Ahmad Lawan shortly after the passage of the budget said: “This budget that has been passed by National Assembly today is to ensure that our economy is supported fully through public expenditure.
“Because the economy of our country depends largely on public expenditure.
“The budget extension period of 2020 which we did last year is to ensure that the funds that are available for 2020 are not lost.
“So we have two budgets and funds from 2020 elapse at March 31, 2021, the implementation of 2021 budget will start from January 1, 2021 to December 31st 2021.
“That is absolute fight against the recession that we are in and with the projected growth in our GDP in the 2021 budget, the recession will be over before the first quarter.
“I want to urge the Executive arm of government first to ensure that they implement the 2020 budget that will last up to the 31st of March 2021.
“There will be no extension after 31st March, everyone must be on his toes in the MDAs to implement the budget 2020.
“And for 2021 we have to do everything possible to ensure that we implement the budget like we try to do in the 2020 budget.
” I believe that the economy of Nigeria will receive a boost from the implementation of the two budgets. “
Lawan said there was need for the executive to come up with a supplementary budget in first quarter of 2021 to provide funds to  procure and administer the envisaged  COVID-19 vaccines to Nigerians.
He also said the was need to also allocate adequate fund to cater for issues of insecurity in the country.
The Senate President said issues of health and security were very important to the development of the people.
He thereafter announced that the upper legislative chamber has adjourned plenary till Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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