President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presented his proposal for Nigeria’s 2020 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja.
The proposal shows that about a quarter of the sum (N2.45 trillion) will be used for debt servicing, while capital expenditure is expected to gulp N2.14 trillion which excludes the capital component of statutory transfers.
A further breakdown presented by the president shows the expenditure estimate includes statutory transfers of N556.7 billion, non-debt recurrent expenditure of N4.88 trillion and provision for Sinking Fund to retire maturing bonds issued to local contractors is N296 billion.
The budget was prepared on the assumption of $57 per barrel with crude oil production of 2.18 million barrels per day and the exchange rate assumed at N305 to $1.
Other assumptions include real GDP growth of 2.93 per cent while “inflation is expected to remain slightly above single digits in 2020.”
The president also presented a Finance Bill for consideration and passage into law. The sum of N8.155 trillion is estimated as the total Federal Government revenue in 2020 and comprises oil revenue N2.64 trillion, non-oil tax revenues of N1.81 trillion and other revenues of N3.7 trillion. This, the president said, is seven per cent higher than the 2019 comparative estimate of N7.594 trillion inclusive of the Government Owned Enterprises.
He explained that the increasing share of non-oil revenues underscores confidence in his administration’s revenue diversification strategies, going forward. “Furthermore, in our efforts to enhance transparency and accountability, we shall continue our strict implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) to capture the domiciliary accounts in our foreign missions and those linked to Government-Owned Enterprises,” Mr Buhari said.
For statutory transfers, which are the first-line charge, the president said N556.7 billion has been provided for in the budget and it includes:
a. N125 billion for the National Assembly;
b. N110 billion for the Judiciary;
c. N37.83 billion for the North East Development Commission (NEDC);
d. N44.5 billion for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF);
e. N111.79 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC); and
f. N80.88 billion for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which is now supervised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Mr Buhari announced the increase of the budgetary allocation to the National Human Rights Commission from N1.5 billion to N2.5 billion. This 67 per cent increase in funding is done to enable the Commission to perform its functions more effectively, he said.
The non-debt recurrent expenditure includes N3.6 trillion for personnel and pension costs, an increase of N620.28 billion over 2019. This increase reflects the new minimum wage as well as our proposals to improve remuneration and welfare of our Police and Armed Forces.
The Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila, in his closing remarks, promised speedy consideration of the budget as well as a cordial relationship between the National Assembly and the presidency.