October 24, 2020

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2021 budget passes second reading at Senate

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Nigeria’s 2021 budget on Wednesday passed the second reading at the Senate.

The passage of the budget comes after three days of deliberation at the upper chamber.

More than half of the lawmakers gave their contributions on the floor of the Senate during the debate.

While many senators faulted the projections of the budget, especially having to borrow to fund the budget, others commended the executive for its plan on economic recovery.

The N13.08 trillion appropriation bill was thereafter referred to the committee on appropriations, which will distribute the budget across the standing committees of the chamber for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to appear before them and defend their 2020 budget performance and 2021 proposal.

The committee was given four weeks to report back to the whole house.

The senate president, Ahmad Lawan, also said the senate will suspend its plenary after October 20 to enable MDAs defend their budgets.

The budget defence, he said, will last till the first week of November.

The proposed budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

It contains a crude oil benchmark price of $40 per barrel and daily oil production estimate of 1.86 million barrels (inclusive of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day).

This also includes N1.35 trillion spending by government owned enterprises and grants and aid funded expenditures of N354.85 billion.

The budget also proposes recurrent expenditure of N5.65 trillion, personnel cost of N3.76 trillion and debt service of N3.12 trillion.

Other details are statutory transfers of N484.4 billion, pension, gratuities & retirees benefits of N501.19 billion and overhead cost of N625.50 billion with a projected inflation rate of 11.95 percent and GDP growth rate of three percent.

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