A Look at Nigeria's 2020 Budget

In Morning Crossfire 2019-12-19 09:40:14
A Look at Nigeria's 2020 Budget
A Look at Nigeria's 2020 Budget

By Jude Chukwuemeka

 

Guests:

 

Ojiugo Uche - Research and Policy Analyst Lead BudgIT

 

Gbolahan Olojede – Chartered Accountant/Economic and Public Affair Analyst

 

 

President Buhari on Tuesday 17th December on his 77th birthday, signed the 2020 Appropriation Bill into law. This happens about nine weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari has presented the bill alongside Finance Bill before the Joint Session of the National Assembly on 8th October, 2019. The Bill is tagged “Budget of Sustaining Growth and Job Creation”. It is the "Nigeria’s biggest budget ever, in total N10.59 trillion."

 

It is "up from the 8.83 trillion-naira budget for 2019 and tops the previous record spending plan, the 9.12 trillion-naira budget for 2018,” according to the Guardian newspaper report.

 

The budget also provides for aggregate expenditures of N10.594 trillion, an increase of N263.95 billion over the Executive’s Proposal that was submitted in October 2019.

 

Sheriff quotes President Buhari: "in the twenty years since the return to civilian democracy, this will be just the fourth time that the Federal Budget was passed before the end of the previous year, and this is the earliest."

 

He also mentions in an audio playback that Nigeria is finally back to the January – December fiscal year, saying that the country is now very poised to deliver on the promises made, as far as the budget is concerned.

 

But will Nigerians fully benefit from the latest budget expenditure? Gbolahan Olojede mentions that this is encouraging and we Nigerians must not dwell on the past. “The past is not encouraging.”

 

Gbolahan continues: “For revenue generation for 2019, we probably did up to 60 percent. If we had projected 7 trillion and we did about 4 trillion, that’s a positive thing when we set aside 10 trillion. Can we make it?” He thinks Nigeria can. However, he speaks on the gray areas of spending.

 

“As at mid-year, we have not even released a dime for capital expenditure but we have already borrowed 1.35 trillion, which is a deficit. What does this mean for the economy? If all we are doing is pay salaries, there’s an issue. We need to create capital projects. We need stimulants that will help us maximize the GDP.”

 

He still maintains that Nigerian states are too dependent on the Federal government. One questions states should ask is; where do the funds we live on come from?

 

Ojiugo Uche looks at the aspect of Mr. President saying that even though the budget has been passed into law there are some amendments yet to be made. She calls it an unusual approach. “Looking at other nations too, sometimes it may be necessary to pass a supplementary budget but usually, it is done later in the year. This depends, based on performance of the budget.”

 

Wemimo asks; does it mean that Nigeria is not ready to pass the budget into law? What about other issues such as VAT, small businesses, finance bill and other issues that affect Nigerians?

 

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