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.
President Buhari said the budget had to be revised because of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy.
He said the ministries, department and agencies will be given 50 percent of their capital allocation by the end of this month in order to keep strictly with the January – December budget cycle.
The signing, which took place inside the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja, was witnessed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other principal officers of National Assembly.
The Minister Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of State Finance, Clement Agba, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emiefile, and Director General, Budget, Ben Akabueze also witnessed the signing.
Senator Babajide Omoworare, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) and Hon. Hon Umar El Yakub, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to 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 of the budget at exactly 11:06 am.
President Buhari had in December 2019 assented to N10.59tn 2020 budget. The National Assembly had passed the budget at $57 per barrel oil benchmark price.
However, the federal government had to review the budget because of the current drop in the price of crude oil due to the coronavirus pandemic. The initial adjustments made to the budget resulted in a N318 billion cut bringing the budget size to N10.276 trillion.
The federal government had on May 13 approved N10.523 trillion for revised 2020 national budget after a memo submitted by the ministry of finance, budget and national planning to the National Executive Council (FEC) for approval of the amendments of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2020-2022 as well as amendment to the 2020 budget.
This brought a difference of just about N71.5 billion when compared to the approved budget. On June 11, the senate increased the total size of the revised budget by N5 billion from N10.805 trillion to N10.810 trillion.
According to the Finance Minister, changes made to the budget include a revision of the daily crude oil production benchmark to 1.94 million from 2.18 million barrels per day. The exchange rate has also been adjusted from the initial N305/$.