By Williams Anuku, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has issued stern warning to agencies of government saddled with generating revenue to work hard to meet their targets.
The warning came shortly after he signed the Thirteen-Point- Five- Eight-Eight trillion Naira (N13.588 trillion) 2021 Appropriation Bill and the 2020 Finance Bill into law on Thursday.
With the latest development, it appears the revenue generating agencies, especially the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, the Nigerian Customs Service among others may come under intense pressures to generate enough funds to finance the 2021 budget.
All these may characterise the economy in 2021, inspite of the effects of Covid19 and dwindling fortunes in oil prices.
According to Buhari, during the budget signing formalities, his administration is intensifying domestic revenue mobilization efforts so that we can have adequate resources to fund the 2021 Budget.
His words, “Revenue Generating Agencies, and indeed all Ministries, Departments and Government-Owned Enterprises, must work very hard to achieve their revenue targets, control their cost-to-revenue ratios, as well as ensure prompt and full remittance of revenue collections.
“Relevant Agencies are to ensure the realization of our crude oil production and export targets. Heads of defaulting Agencies are hereby warned that they will be severely sanctioned. I also appeal to our fellow citizens and the business community, at large, to fulfil their tax obligations promptly”.
President Buhari seized the opportunity to express his delight that despite disruptions occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 Budget implementation passed previous thresholds.
“In spite of the adverse impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the nation’s economy and the Government’s revenues, we have made appreciable progress in the implementation of the 2020 Budget. As at December 2020, we had released about One-point-Seven-Four-Eight Trillion Naira (N1.748 trillion) out of a total of the One-Point-Nine-Six-Two Trillion Naira (N1.962 trillion) voted for the implementation of critical capital projects, representing a performance of about Eight-Nine-Point-One Percent (89.1%).
“The overall performance of the 2020 Budget currently stands at an impressive rate of Ninety-Seven-point-Seven Percent (97.7%). This commendable outcome underscores the importance of our efforts, together with the Legislature, to return to the discipline of a January-to-December fiscal year. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning will provide further details on the 2020 Budget’s performance, in due course,” he said.
The President commended the National Assembly for completing “the important appropriation process in good time,” adding that “the passage of the 2021 Federal Budget before the commencement of the 2021 fiscal year is in confirmation of our resolve to maintain a predictable January-December fiscal year, as provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Recall that these economic projections for 2021 also saw President Buhari vowing to tackle inflation aggressively in the new year, with a stern warning to the Central Bank of Nigeria not to release forex for food importation under any guise.
Recall also that the upper chamber of the National Assembly recently passed the budget estimates but shored it up from the N13.08 trillion originally presented by President Buhari in October, 2020 to N13. 588trilion.
Part of the excuse adduced for increasing the budget was the late receipt of spending from the executive.
According to the Senate, there was the late receipt of spending request for the up scaling of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) from the executive amounting to N365 billion, in addition to the discovery of under projection of the total revenue to the tune of N100 billion.
Meanwhile, in the budget breakdown, a total of N496.528 billion was approved for statutory transfer, including an approval of N3.324 trillion for debt servicing.
Further breakdown revealed that N4.125 trillion would go into capital expenditures while N5.641 trillion is earmarked for recurrent expenditure.
The nation’s main revenue earner, Crude Oil prices was benchmarked at $40USD Per Barrel; with daily Crude Oil Production projected at 1.86mbpd; Exchange Rate was fixed at N379/US$; and Gross Domestic Production (GDP) Growth Rate pegged at 3.00 percent.
According to the leadership of the National Assembly, N5.196 trillion was earmarked as deficit, which will be financed by some multilateral and bilateral project-tied loans worth N709 billion.
Meanwhile, the presidency is expected to use for its Capital Expenditure in the year 2021, the sum of N24,090,340,416 ; then N127,850,984,984 will go to Ministry of Defence; N7,994,280,245 for Ministry of Foreign Affairs; N19,721,066,865 for Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; N38,846,293,565 for Ministry of Interior; N2,491,111,568 for Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation; N218,432,074 for Auditor General of the Federation; N17,882,480,948 for Ministry of Police Affairs; N17,664,285,343 for Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy; and N45,647,587,613 for the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Others such as the Infrastructure Concessionary Regulatory Commission had N353,678,953; Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation – N45,637,061,225; Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs – N8,872,787,424; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – N211,077,457,584; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning – N376,359,450,498; Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment – N64,760,781,172; Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment – N63,526,109,193; Federal Ministry of Science and Technology – N107,061,118,360; Federal Ministry of Transport – N209,736,113,910; Federal Ministry of Aviation – N70,189,215,332; and Federal Ministry of Power – N206,745,895,389.
In addition, N3,340,140,120 was approved for Ministry of Petroleum Resources; N12,605,747,806 for the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; N399,694,565,222 for the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; N110,455,765 for the National Salaries and Wages Commission; N261,170,602 for the Fiscal Responsibility Commission; N159,745,000,315 for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; N5,097,558,027 for the Federal Ministry of Justice; N1,363,636,403 for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission; N37,330,762,421 for the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
The sum of N22,024,592,197 was approved for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; N10,639,249,276 for the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development; N11,204,210,256 for Ministry of Women Affairs; N156,172,307,765 for the Federal Ministry of Education; N134,591,025,027 for Federal Ministry of Health; N24,554,710,490 for Federal Ministry of Environment; N4,839,951,093 for National Population Commission; and N75,768,539,782 for the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.