On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2020 appropriation bill of N10.33 trillion to the national assembly.
The appropriation bill also comprises statutory transfers of N556.7 billion, non-debt recurrent expenditure of N4.88 trillion and N2.14 trillion of capital expenditure.
We bring you key other highlights of the budget below:
WORKS GETS LION SHARE, NIGER DELTA MINISTRY GETS LEAST
The ministry of works and housing got the highest allocation among the ministries with N262 billion, followed by ministry of power which has N127 billion, and transportation with N123 billion.
The social investment programmes including the N-Power scheme and the school-feeding initiative among others got N30 billion while the ministry of Niger Delta affairs got least allocation with N24 billion (this is, however, aside the N62 billion budgeted for the amnesty programme). You can check out other MDAs allocations here .
CAPITAL PROJECTS GET N2.46TRN
Buhari said the federal government hopes to spend a total of N2.46trn on capital projects during the 2020 fiscal year, inclusive of N318.06 billion in statutory transfers.
“Although the 2020 capital budget is N721.33 billion (or 23 percent) lower than the 2019 budget provision of N3.18 trillion, it is still higher than the actual and projected capital expenditure outturns for both the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, respectively,” he said.
PRIORITY FOR ONGOING PROJECTS
The president said the emphasis of the 2020 budget will be the completion of “as many ongoing projects as possible”, rather than commencing new ones.
“MDAs have not been allowed to admit new projects into their capital budget for 2020, unless adequate provision has been made for the completion of ALL ongoing projects,” he said.
“Accordingly, we have rolled over capital projects that are not likely to be fully funded by the end of 2019 into the 2020 Budget. We are aware that the National Assembly shares our view that these projects should be prioritised and given adequate funding in the 2020 Appropriation Act.”
ESTIMATES BASED ON VAT INCREASE, OVERHEAD COSTS AT N426.6BN
The 2020 appropriation bill is proposed based on the planned increase of the VAT rate from 5% to 7.5%, while the overhead costs are projected at N426.6 billion.
Buhari said the additional revenues will be used to fund health, education and infrastructure programmes, with 85 percent going to states and local governments.
“Additionally, our proposals also raise the threshold for VAT registration to N25 million in turnover per annum, such that the revenue authorities can focus their compliance efforts on larger businesses,” Buhari said, adding that this is to enable proper growth of MSMEs.”
FISH, YAM AND BREAD AMONG ITEMS EXEMPTED FROM VAT
Buhari said some of the items which will be exempted from the VAT, in addition to the pharmaceuticals, educational items, and basic commodities already excluded by the VAT act, include brown and white bread, cereals, fish of all kinds, flour and starch meals.
Others are fruits, vegetables, roots (yams etc), herbs. salt, milk, meat and water.
BUDGET DEFICIT OF N2.18TRN, GDP GROWTH RATE AT 2.93% AND N2.45TRN FOR DEBT SERVICE
The appropriation bill further proposes a budget deficit of N2.18 trillion in 2020, including drawdowns on project-tied loans and the related capital expenditure.
“This represents 1.52 percent of estimated GDP, well below the 3 percent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, and in line with the ERGP target of 1.96 percent,” the president said.
The president also said the federal government is setting aside N2.45 trillion for debt service during the 2020 fiscal year, out of which 71 percent is to service domestic debt which accounts for about 68 percent of the total debt.
He said there is an expected GDP growth of 2.93% in 2020, “driven largely by non-oil output, as economic diversification accelerates” with inflation expected to remain slightly above single digits in 2020.
MDAS PROHIBITED FROM SETTING UP NEW LIASON OFFICES
Buhari said he has directed the stoppage of the salary of any federal government staff that is not captured on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform by the end of October 2019.
The current administration had introduced the platform to help manage personnel costs among other reasons.
He added that the proliferation of zonal, state and liaison offices by MDAs will no longer be tolerated as part of efforts to “sustain our efforts in managing personnel costs.”
“All agencies must obtain the necessary approvals before embarking on any fresh recruitment and any contraventions of these directives shall attract severe sanctions,” he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari Makes New Appointments
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved the appointment of nine new Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service.
This was disclosed in a state FG issued by the Director of Communications in the Office of the Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Olawunmi Ogunmosule.
The new permanent secretaries were drawn from the six geo-political zones as well as Borno, Niger and Ogun States.
The statement read in part: “The appointees are – Engr. Musa Hassan (Borno), Ahmed Aliyu (Niger) and Olushola Idowu (Ogun).
“Others are – Andrew David Adejoh (North-Central), Umar Idris Tijjani (North-East), Nasir Sani Gwarzo (North-West), Nebeolisa Victor Anako (South-East), Fashedemi Temitope Peter (South-West) and Evelyn Ngige (South-South).
“The portfolios would be allocated to the new permanent secretaries in due course.
Border Closure And Hate Speech Bill Are Illegal – Falana
Lagos Fiery Lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has declared that the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government was allegedly misled into having the erroneous impression that only border closure can guarantee food security and economic development in the country.
Falana, a social crusader and human rights activist added that the National Assembly lacks the constitutional powers to promulgate any law under the guise of Hate Speech, saying such was not captured under the exclusive and concurrent lists of the 1999 constitution.
The human rights lawyer clarified that going ahead to promulgate such law would not only betray the trust reposed in the National Assembly by the Nigerian populace but would erode the powers of the state legislative arm since Nigeria operates a federal system of government.
Speaking in his Ilawe Ekiti country home on Wednesday during the burial procession for Mrs. Ibijola Falana, the Lawyer said it was wrong for President Muhammadu Buhari to have closed the borders indefinitely without taking cognizance of the fact that such will inflict serious pain on the already burdened Nigerian citizens.
“I don’t support the closure because it is illegal, immoral and economically senseless. It cannot be defended under the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Goods. Punishing millions of community citizens for the offense of a few smugglers is immoral.
Buhari Pays Tribute To Professor Tam David-West
President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday paid glowing tributes to his long-time ally and friend, Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West, who served as Minister of Petroleum Resources between January 1984 and August 1985.
At the commendation service for the former minister, held at the Chapel of Resurrection, University of Ibadan, the President said Prof David-West would be sorely missed for his integrity, sense of accountability, and radical opposition to corruption.
President Buhari was represented at the event by Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Also at the event were the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, renowned academics, politicians, family members and admirers of the eminent virologist, who had attained national and international acclaim.
“The late Professor stood for all that was noble and just,” President Buhari said through his Adviser on Media, adding: “He had an indomitable spirit, stood by whatever he believed in, and was very loyal. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
The President urged Nigerians to emulate the virtues of the former minister, including his scrupulous commitment to scholarship, timeliness and loyalty to motherland.
Prof David-West passed away on November 11, 2019, aged 83.
Deputy Director (Information)
December 4, 2019
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