President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented the 2020 budget to the National Assembly.
Here are the top four priorities of the appropriation bill according to President Buhari.
A. Fiscal consolidation, to strengthen our macroeconomic environment;
B. Investing in critical infrastructure, human capital development and enabling institutions, especially in key job creating sectors;
C. Incentivising private sector investment essential to complement the Government’s development plans, policies and programmes; and
D. Enhancing our social investment programs to further deepen their impact on those marginalised and most vulnerable Nigerians.
In his speech at the National Assembly, the President stated that investing in critical infrastructure is a key component of his fiscal strategy under the 2020 Budget Proposals.
“Accordingly, an aggregate sum of N2.46 trillion (inclusive of N318.06 billion in statutory transfers) is proposed for capital projects in 2020,” Buhari stated.
He further stated that 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.
The President however noted that at 24 percent of aggregate projected expenditure, the 2020 provision falls significantly short of the 30 percent target in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.
President Buhari further revealed that the main emphasis will be the completion of as many ongoing projects as possible, rather than commencing new ones.
He notes that the 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.
According to the President, his government has 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,” the President stated.
The 2020 Budget is expected to accelerate the pace of our economic recovery, promote economic diversification, enhance competitiveness and ensure social inclusion. We are optimistic of attaining higher and more inclusive GDP growth in order to achieve our objective of massive job creation and lifting many of our citizens out of poverty.
The efficiency of port operations will also be enhanced by implementing a single customs window, speeding up vessel and cargo handling and issuing more licenses to build modern terminals in existing ports, especially outside Lagos.
Furthermore, completing the reforms to the governance and fiscal terms of the Petroleum Industry will provide certainty and attract further investments into the sector. A consequence of this will be increase in jobs and in government’s take. I therefore seek your support in passing into law two Petroleum Industry Executive Bills I will be forwarding to you shortly.
In addition, we need to quickly review the fiscal terms for deep offshore oil fields to reflect the current realities and for more revenue to accrue to the government. The Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (Amendment) Bill 2018, was submitted to the 8th National Assembly in June 2018 but was unfortunately not passed into law.
I will be re-forwarding the Bill to this Assembly very shortly and therefore urge you to pass it. We estimate that this effort can generate at least 500 million US dollars additional revenue for the Federal Government in 2020, and over one billion dollars from 2021.
Whilst the Budget is our principal fiscal tool to achieve these socio-economic development targets, we remain committed to prudently planning for our future economic prosperity. In this regard, I have directed the reconstituted Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to commence preparations towards the development of successor medium – and long-term economic development plans, particularly as the Nigeria Vision 20-2020 and the ERGP expire next year.