The fear that the Muhammadu Buhari led government was planning to jettison the Presidential Amnesty Programme is a mirage after all. This is because the president has not only retained the programme he has proposed the sum of N65 billion for the programme in the 2021 budget submitted to the National Assembly.
President Buhari said the provision is made in order to maintain the peace in the Niger Delta region for economic and social activities to thrive.
“In addition, the sum of N63.51billion has been appropriated forthe Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and N24.27billion has beenprovided for the capital projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Theseallocations should further support the development of the region byfacilitating the completion of important ongoing projects, such as theEast-West Road”, he said.
According to him, “Based on the foregoing fiscal assumptions andparameters, total federally distributable revenue is estimated atN8.433trillion in 2021. Total revenue available to fund the 2021 Federal Budgetis estimated at N7.886trillion. This includes Grants and Aid of N354.85billionas well as the revenues of 60 Government-Owned Enterprises.
“Oil revenue is projected at N2.01trillion. Non-oil revenue isestimated at N1.49trillion. As you will observe, the format of the 2021Appropriation Bill has been modified to include budgeted revenues, no matterhow small, for each MDA, to focus on internal revenue generation. Accordingly,I implore you to pay as much attention to the revenue side as you do to theexpenditure side.
“An aggregate expenditure of N13.08trillion is proposed for theFederal Government in 2021. This includes N1.35trillion spending byGovernment-Owned Enterprises and Grants and Aid funded expenditures ofN354.85billion.
“For 2021, the proposed N13.08trillion expenditure comprises Non-debt Recurrent Costs of N5.65trillion; Personnel Costs of N3.76trillion; Pensions, Gratuities and Retirees’ Benefits of N501.19billion; Overheads of N625.50billion; Debt Service of N3.124trillion; Statutory Transfers of N484.49billion; and Sinking Fund of N220billion (to retire certain maturing bonds).
“The 2021 Budget deficit (inclusive of Government-Owned Enterprises and project-tied loans), is projected at N5.20trillion. This represents 3.64 per cent of the estimated GDP, slightly above the 3 per cent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. It is, however, to be noted that we still face the existential challenge of Coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath; I believe that this provides a justification to exceed the threshold as provided for by this law
.“The deficit will be financed mainly by new borrowings totallingN4.28trillion, N205.15billion from Privatization Proceeds and N709.69billion indraw-downs on multilateral and bilateral loans secured for specific projectsand programmes.”
The sum of N484.49billion was provided in the budget proposal for StatutoryTransfers representing an increase of N56.46billion (or 13 per cent) over therevised 2020 provision.
It includes: Niger Delta Development Commission (N63.51billion);North East Development Commission (N29.70billion); National Judicial Council(N110.00billion); Universal Basic Education Commission (N70.05billion);Independent National Electoral Commission (N40.00billion); National Assembly(N128.00billion); Public Complaints Commission (N5.20billion); Human RightsCommission (N3.00billion); and Basic Health Care Provision Fund(N35.03billion).
In the recurrent expenditures, the budget has N227.02billion forthe Ministry of Interior; N441.39billion for the Ministry of Police Affairs;N545.10billion for Ministry of Education; N840.56billion for Ministry ofDefence; and N380.21billion for Ministry of Health.
On debt servicing, Buhari said the Federal Government was committed to meetingits debt service obligations.
The budget provided N3.12trillion for this in 2021, representingan increase of N445.57billion from N2.68trillion in 2020.
He said a total of N2.183trillion has been set aside to service domestic debts,while N940.89billion has been provided for foreign debt service, just asN220billion is provided for transfers to the Sinking Fund to pay off maturingbonds issued to local contractors and creditors.
Speaking on overhead costs, the President said total overhead costs of MDAs and government-owned enterprises are projected to rise to N625.50billion in 2021, mainly due to the inclusion of the overheads of an additional 50 government-owned enterprises.
He added that overhead provisions have also been made for newlycreated agencies, urging MDAs to adhere to extant expenditure controls as ameasure to keep a tab on running costs.
While indicating that an aggregate sum of N3.85trillion is expected to be available for capital projects in 2021, he gave the details as N1.80trillion for MDAs’ capital expenditure; N745billion for Capital Supplementation; N355billion for Grants and Aid-funded projects; N20billion for the Family Homes Fund; N25billion for the Nigeria Youth Investment fund; N336billion for 60 Government-Owned Enterprises; N247billion for capital component of Statutory Transfers; and N710billion for projects funded by Multilateral and Bilateral loans.
He said Capital expenditure in 2021 remains focused on the completion of as many ongoing projects as possible, rather than the commencement of new ones, adding “We have also made efforts to ensure equity in the distribution of projects and programmes in the proposed budget. I will be providing the National Assembly with a list of some of the most critical projects which we must work collectively to ensure they receive adequate funding.
Highlights of the 2021 budget include Power: N198billion (inclusive of N150billion for the Power Sector Recovery Plan); Works and Housing: N404billion; Transportation: N256billion; Defence: N121billion; Agriculture and Rural Development: N110billion; Water Resources: N153billion; Industry, Trade and Investment: N51billion; Education: N127billion; Universal Basic Education Commission: N70billion; Health: N132billion; Zonal Intervention Projects: N100billion; and Niger Delta Development Commission: N64billion.
According to the President, the sum of N420billion was alsobudgeted to sustain the Social Investment Programme, N20billion has also beenset aside for the Family Homes Fund, Social Housing Programme. N75billionSurvival Fund Programme to support and protect businesses from potentialvulnerabilities. N100billion to households and small businesses; N100billion tothe healthcare and pharmaceutical industry; and N1trillion to largeagricultural and manufacturing businesses.