President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law, the revised budget of N10.8 trillion for the year 2020.
He assented to the budget at about 11:06am on Friday at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
In his address, the President explained that the budget had to be revised because of the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the nation’s economy.
He disclosed that Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs) of the government would be given at least 50 per cent of their capital allocation by the end of July.
According to President Buhari, the timing of the signing of the budget was to keep with the January to December budget cycle.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, and the SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Umar Yakub, presented the budget to him at about 11:03am.
President Buhari was joined at the signing ceremony by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Others in attendance included the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of State (Finance), Clement Agba; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefile; and Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, were also at the Council Chamber to witness the signing of the revised budget.
Read the tell text of President Buhari’s speech at the event below:
Speech by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the signing into law of the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020
Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Friday, 10th July 2019
It is my pleasure and honour to sign the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 into law today. I thank the Distinguished Senate President, the Right Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, and all the Distinguished and Honourable Leaders, and Members, of the National Assembly for the prompt review and passage of the amendments to the 2020 Appropriation Act.
You will recall that I signed the 2020 Appropriation Act into law on Tuesday, 17th December 2019. However, it became necessary to revise the Appropriation Act 2020 in response to recent developments, in particular, the COVID-19 Pandemic. Crude oil prices in the world market declined sharply from a high of $72.20 per barrel in January 2020 to below $20 per barrel in April 2020, and have since remained around $40 per barrel.
Nigeria’s crude oil production quota has been reduced as part of the efforts of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to strengthen the oil market. Global trade has generally been disrupted as almost all economies were locked down for protracted periods in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
All these developments are plunging the global economy into recession, and Nigeria has not escaped the impact of this. In effect, the assumptions underlying the 2020 Appropriation Act are no longer sustainable.
It is, therefore, imperative to adjust our expected revenues, considering the widespread disruptions in domestic and international economic activities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the containment measures taken in response thereto.
Understandably too, we needed to reallocate resources in the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 to ensure effective implementation of required health and emergency measures, as well as to mitigate the negative socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The 2020 Amended Budget, which I have just signed into law today, underscores our Administration’s firm commitment to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the lives and livelihood of our people. With these budget amendments, as well as our recently launched N2.3 trillion Stimulus Programme, we are well-positioned to safeguard the economy.
Considering recent budget implementation challenges, I have directed that efforts be made to ensure effective implementation of the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 in order to realise its laudable objectives.
All Ministers are to ensure that their Ministries, Departments and Agencies intensify capital project delivery efforts and fully cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to achieve the laudable objectives of the Budget.
We have, nevertheless, made some progress in the implementation of the Appropriation Act 2020. As at 31st May 2020, the sum of N253.33 billion have been released for the implementation of capital projects.
The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is in the process of effecting budgetary releases that will ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies receive at least 50 per cent of their amended capital budgets by the end of this month.
The Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020, that I have just signed into law, provides for aggregate expenditures of N10.81 trillion, which is an increase of N216 billion over the level of expenditure initially proposed in the 2020 Appropriation Act. The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning will provide further details of the 2020 Amended Budget.
I wish to acknowledge the efforts of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, particularly the Budget Office of the Federation, and everyone who collaborated and worked conscientiously to produce the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 that I have signed today.
I thank all Nigerians for their understanding and unflinching support, especially during these difficult times.
Thank you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.