Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
To maintain the January – December budget cycle, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed into law, the revised N10.8 trillion budget for the year 2020 passed by the National Assembly in June.
He said the budget had to be revised because of the effect of coronavirus on the nation’s economy. He said the ministries, departments and agencies will be given 50 percent of their capital allocation by the end of the month. The signing took place inside the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari witnessed the signing. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, House of Reps Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal officers of the National Assembly were also present.
The Ministers Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of State Finance, Clement Agba, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and Director General Budget, Ben Akabueze were also there.
At 11:03am, Senator Babajide Omoworare, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) and Hon. Hon. Umar El Yakub, SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives) presented the budget to the President, while Osinbajo, Lawan, and Gbajabiamila joined him to witness the signing at exactly 11:06am
The president submitted the initial 2020 budget to the national assembly in October 2019 and signed it into law in December 2019. Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the president submitted a revised version of the budget to the national assembly in May.
The original budget size when it was signed into law in December 2019 was N10.594 trillion. The initial adjustments made to the budget resulted in a N318 billion cut bringing the budget size to N10.276 trillion.
However, the federal executive council at its May 13 meeting increased the total sum of the revised budget to N10.523 trillion, a difference of about N71.5 billion when compared to the approved budget. On June 11, the senate increased the total size of the revised budget by N5 billion from N10.805 trillion to N10.810 trillion.
According to the Finance Minister, changes made to the budget include a revision of the daily crude oil production benchmark to 1.94 million from 2.18 million barrels per day. The exchange rate has also been adjusted from the initial N305/$.