By Kingsley Okoye
Abuja, July 9,2020(NAN) Minister of Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on Thursday met with the leadership of the National Assembly on plans to submit the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper () later in July.
The Minister, while briefing principal officers of the Senate and House of Representatives led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had given directives for the Ministry to expedite action on 2021 budget estimates .
This, the minister said was to enable the President present the 2021 budget proposal to the National Assembly by the end of September.
Ahmed further disclosed that in keeping strictly with the January – December budget cycle, the President would on July 10 sign into law, the revised N10.8 trillion budget for the year 2020 passed by the National Assembly in June.
“This for us is a journey towards ensuring that the progress that we have made as a collective to return the fiscal year to January to December is maintained for the 2021 budget as well.
“The President has directed that we must deliver the budget to the National Assembly by the end of Sept,” the Finance Minister said.
Ahmed while giving an update on the 2020 budget implementation between January and May 2020, stated that the Federal Government’s retained revenue was N1.48 trillion, an amount representing 56 per cent of government’s target.
She added that out of the sum generated as revenue, oil revenues accounted for N701.6 billion; non-oil tax revenues N439.32 billion; Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections – N213.24 billion and N68.09 billion; and Customs collection N158 billion.
“Other revenues amounted to N339.51 billion, of which Independent revenues was N80.22 billion. Recoveries and Stamp duty collected during the period are yet to be booked in the fiscal accounts,” Ahmed said.
On Expenditure performance for the same period (January – May 2020), she disclosed that N1.25 trillion was expended for debt service; and N1.32 trillion for Personnel cost, including Pensions.
According to the Finance Minister, as at the end of May , only N253.33 billion had been released for capital expenditure.
Ahmed while giving underlying assumptions driving the macro-economic parameters and targets of the 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, said same was “revised in line with the emergent realities.”
She stated that the Oil Price Benchmark for the 2021 fiscal year was pegged at 35 dollar and 40 dollar for 2022 and 2023.
Oil Production (mbpd) was placed at 1.86 for 2021, 2.09 for 2022, and 2.38 for the 2022 fiscal year; while the Exchange Rate remains at N360 to one dollar.
Ahmed stressed that, “although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5 million barrels per day, current crude production is about 1.4 million barrels per day – in compliance with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production quota – and an additional 300,000 barrels per day of condensates, totaling about 1.7mbpd.”
She added that while the World Bank forecasts that crude oil prices will rise gradually from an average of 42 dollars per barrel in 2021 to 44.5 dollars per barrel in 2022; and 47 dollars in 2023.
” It is also expected that Brent crude oil prices may average 41 dollars per barrel during the second half of 2020 and 50 dollars during 2021.
“The nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to increase from N130,836.1 billion in 2020 to N132,125.4 billion in 2021 and then up to N138,415.8 billion in 2023,” Ahmed said.
Earlier, President of Senate in his welcome remarks said:
“This meeting is holding at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the main purpose of the meeting is for the Minister to brief the leadership of the National Assembly on the 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
“Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that the journey to the presentation of the 2021 budget estimates by the Executive arm of Government has started in earnest.
“It is our expectation in the National Assembly, that this journey will lead to the presentation or laying of the budget estimates by the President before the end of September by the grace of God.”(NAN)
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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