Fred Itua, Abuja
As President Muhammadu Buhari presents a N13.08 trillion 2021 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly today, the Senate has released details of the level of implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget.
Presenting a report of the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola, disclosed a deficit of N5.16 trillion.
He said about N2.4 trillion was budgeted for capital expenditure in the 2020 budget, but only N378.85 billion had been released for projects as at May 2020.
He blamed the shortfall on COVID-19 pandemic, which affected sale of crude oil and collection of revenues by various agencies saddled with that responsibility.
“As at the end of May 2020, FGN’s retained revenue was N1.62 trillion. The share of oil revenue was N844.97 billion,representing 100 per cent above prorated sum. While non-oil tax revenue was N439.32 billion or about 65 per cent less performance, Company Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections were N213.24 billion and N68.09 billion respectively, representing 62 per cent and 58 per cent of the pro rata. Customs collection was N158 billion,representing 73 per cent of target. Other revenues amounted to N339.51 billion, of which independent revenues was N189.31 billion,” he said.
On the expenditure side, he N9.97 trillion was appropriated while N3.98 trillion representing 95.7 per cent of prorate. N4.16 trillion was spent of the expenditure, N1.58 trillion for debt service, and N1.32 trillion for personnel cost and pensions. As at May 2020, only N378.85 billion has been released for capital.”
Reeling out the recommendations, Adeola placed daily crude oil production of 1.86 milion barrels per day (mbpd) and 2.09mbpd, and 2.38mbpd for 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively and said the items were approved.
“Benchmark oil price of $40 per barrel, exchange rate N379 per $1 proposed by the executive for the 2021-2023 was approved. A projected GDP growth rate of 3.00 per cent was approved. The fiscal deficit estimate of N5.16 trillion (including GOEs) sustained. The projected new borrowings of N4.28 trillion (including Foreign and domestic Borrowing) was sustained.”
He said government retained projected revenue of N7.89 trillion; total proposed expenditure ofN13.08 trillion; fiscal deficit of N5.19 trillion (including GOEs); statutory transfers, totalling N484.4 billion; debt service estimate of N3.12 trillion; sinking fund to the tune of N220 billion; pension, gratuities & retirees benefits of N520.6 billion and aggregate expenditure of N13.08 trillion made up of total recurrent (non-debt) of N5.66 trillion; personnel costs (MDAs) of N3.05 trillion; capital expenditure (exclusive of transfers) N3.58 trillion; special intervention (recurrent) amounting to N350 billion and special intervention (capital) of N20 billion.
The Senate also resolved to commence immediate legislative actions to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA, 2007) to improve revenue generating and remittance capacity of agencies of the Federal Government, in particular Section 21 (1) and Section 22(1)(2).
It further resolved to take immediate steps to examine the laws guiding the operations of all revenue generating agencies under their oversight to determine specific sections/clauses requiring amendment with a view to plugging wastages and boosting revenue generation capacity of government.