2020 budget further endangered as government suffers $14 billion revenue loss
• Buhari may present 2021 appropriation next week, to refund N148b for roads
Implementation of the 2020 budget may have further hit the rocks, as the Federal Government has suffered a $14 billion revenue loss on account of the falling oil price at the international market.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who made the disclosure, yesterday, at the resumption of plenary in Abuja, hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari might present the 2021 appropriation to the joint session of the National Assembly next week.
“We were confronted with an over $14 billion revenue gap and the grim reality of an unwholesome overdependence on oil,” he said.
According to him, diversification of the country’s revenue sources has become a very urgent task. Lawan urged the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAS) to avoid fresh recession, stating “We need to work with relevant stakeholders to prevent our economy going into recession, stimulate the economy, save and create more jobs through a sustainable multiplier effect.”
In July this year, President Buhari signed the revised 2020 budget of N10.8 trillion. Four hundred and twenty-two billion was earmarked for statutory transfers, while N4.9 trillion went for recurrent expenditure.
Also, capital expenditure got N2.4 trillion, just as N2.9 trillion was set aside for debt servicing. In the same vein, N500 billion was to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as the health sector got N186 billion allocation.
On the 2021 proposal, the Lawan stated: “The Senate will provide a one-month window for budget defence by MDAs.”
BESIDES, the Nigerian leader, yesterday, asked the upper legislative chamber to approve N148.14 billion as reimbursements for federal road projects executed by five states, including Rivers (N78 billion), Bayelsa (N38 billion), Cross River (N18 billion), Ondo (N7 billion) and Osun (N4 billion).
The request, which was contained in a letter read at plenary by Lawan, observed that the decision was informed by the repayment demands of the beneficiaries.
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