President Muhammadu Buhari presented the proposed 2021 National budget of N13.08 trillion before the National Assembly on Thursday, October 8. At the joint session of the Assembly, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan expressed the legislature’s determination to pass the budget before the end of the year, in order to sustain the January to December budget cycle.
The 2021 budget is termed the “Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience”, as it seeks to provide a blueprint for the Nigerian Economy’s post COVID-19 recovery. It will be recalled that the 2020 budget was impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, giving rise to a downward review of the budget, to reflect a re-ordering of priorities.
The parameters for the 2021 budget as contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) places crude oil price at $40 per barrel with a production rate of 1.86 million barrels per day. Other parameters include an exchange rate of N379 per US dollar, a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 3 per cent and inflation closing at 11.95 per cent.
The N13.08 trillion budget allocates N5.56 trillion to non-debt recurrent costs, N3.76 trillion for personnel costs, N501.19 billion for pensions, gratuities and retirees’ benefits, N625.50 billion for overheads, N3.124 trillion for debt service, N484.49 billion for statutory transfers and N220 billion as sinking fund. The 2021 budget allocation for Capital Budget is N1.15 trillion higher than the sum of N2.69 trillion in the 2020 budget. Some of the proposed capital projects allocation in the 2021 budget include N127 billion for Education, N121 billion for Defence, N380.21 billion for Health, 110 billion for Agriculture and Rural Development, and N404 billion for Works and Housing. According to President Buhari, up to 50 per cent of the 2020 capital budget has been disbursed to government ministries, departments and agencies.
The President in his presentation, noted that with regard to personnel cost, only federal staff captured on the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform will receive salaries, as a check on payment to non-existing personnel and unauthorized allowances. He added that as an effort to plug leakages in government revenue, all agencies of government are directed to ensure that they obtain all necessary approvals before embarking on any fresh recruitment exercise, or face severe sanctions if they fail to do so.