…directs ministers to deliver on capital projects
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday signed the revised N10.81 trillion 2020 budget into law at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Signing the budget into law, the President also directed his minister to ensure that all ministries, departments and agencies under their supervision deliver on capital projects.
He equally disclosed that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning would ensure the release of half of the appropriated capital budget by the end of July. On why his administration had to revise the N10.59 trillion budget initially approved for the 2020 fiscal year, Buhari said: “You will recall that I signed the 2020 Appropriation Act into law on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. However, it became necessary to revise the Appropriation Act 2020 in response to recent developments, in particular, the COVID- 19 pandemic.
“Crude oil prices in the world market declined sharply from a high of $72.20 per barrel in January 2020, to below $20 per barrel in April 2020, and have since remained around $40 per barrel. “Nigeria’s crude oil production quota has been reduced as part of the efforts of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to strengthen the oil market. Global trade has generally been disrupted as almost all economies were locked down for protracted periods in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. “All these developments are plunging the global economy into recession, and Nigeria has not escaped the impact of this. In effect, the assumptions underlying the 2020 Appropriation Act are no longer sustainable.
“It is, therefore, imperative to adjust our expected revenues, considering the widespread disruptions in domestic and international economic activities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the containment measures taken in response thereto. “Understandably too, we needed to reallocate resources in the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 to ensure effective implementation of required health and emergency measures, as well as to mitigate the negative socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The 2020 Amended Budget, which I have just signed into law today, underscores our Administration’s firm commitment to effectively contain the spread of COVID- 19 and protect the lives and livelihood of our people. “With these budget amendments, as well as our recently launched N2.3 trillion Stimulus Programme, were well-positioned to safeguard the economy.” Speaking further, he said: “Considering recent budget implementation challenges,I have directed that efforts be made to ensure effective implementation of the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 in order to realise its laudable objectives.
“All ministers are to ensure that their Ministries, Departments and Agencies intensify capital project delivery efforts and fully cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to achieve the laudable objectives of the budget.” The President disclosed that his administration had as at the 31st of May released the sum of N253.33 billion for the implementation of the capital projects as appropriated in the 2020 budget. He disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning was in the process of effecting budgetary releases that will ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies receive at least 50 per cent of their amended capital budgets by the end of this month.