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Budget Support: FG Begins Deduction of N614b From 35 States

… Earns N2trn Revenue in Six Months

By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Federal Government will from this month begin deductions from state government allocations, the N614 billion bailout funds extended to them as budget support funds.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed made the announcement while outlining the Draft 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister pointed out that the deductions will be made during this month’s Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.

“The recovery process for us is to deduct from the FAAC allocation to the states and then we remit to the CBN and we are going to start this remittances by the next FAAC so there will be no requirement for us to consider the FSP implementation. 

“We do that as a matter of wanting the states to stay on the path of fiscal sustainability but it will not be a condition for the deduction. We will deduct direct at source and remit to the CBN”. 

The Minister further stated that ,”the N614 billion bail out funds to states  was not going to form part of the revenue for funding the budget, it was a loan which was advanced by the CBN and the repayment will be made to the CBN”.

Ahmed who put personnel cost, inclusive of Pensions at over N3.0 trillion has continued to rise said the Federal Government  was however talking steps to contain the situation.

To this end, she warmed that in keeping with Presidential directive, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) which failed to implement the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) by the end of next month will not be paid their salaries.

” On the expenditure side of the framework, we have tried to keep most expenditure items as low as possible “, the minister pointed out.

On inflation, the minister said ” except for a few months, inflation has continually declined since January 2017 from 18.

72% to 11.08% in July 2019″.

“Our Real GDP growth projections are rates of 2.93%, 3.35% and 3.85% for 2020, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Even though this falls short of the ERGP projection, the trajectory remains in the right direction”, she added.

Mrs Ahmed also disclosed that the Federal Government, was proposing to spend a total revenue of N7.6 trillion in the 2020 Budget with overview expenditure of N9.7 trillion.

” The draft 2020-2022 Medium Fiscal Framework shows that Nigeria faces significant medium-term Fiscal challenges, especially with respect to revenue generation and rapid growth in personnel costs”, she added.

“With Nigeria joining other African countries to sign the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), there could be tremendous opportunities for Nigeria in the medium term.

“However, the AfCFTA could also create a nightmare situation for the country unless the right policies and actions are implemented expeditiously to improve Nigeria’s economic competitiveness”, the minister warned.

FG Earns N2trn in Six Months

The Federal Government  earned N2 trillion as revenue  from January to June 2019, Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, has said.

Akabueze disclosed this at the Public Consultative Forum on the 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) in Abuja yesterday.

He explained that within the period under review, about N3.3 trillion was expended by the Federal Government.

The director-general said that there was an average of 1.

6 million barrel of crude oil production per day on base production.

He disclosed that an aggregate of four trillion naira revenue was collected in 2018 with expenditure of N7.4 trillion, including N1.7 trillion capital budget within the period.

He expressed hope that the remaining half of the year would be better in terms of revenue performance.

Akabueze disclosed that from the data received from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country’s oil production output had risen to 2.1 million barrels per day.

Also, at the forum, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, urged taxpayers in the country to monitor their taxes to ensure they were remitted to appropriate authority.

“It is now a responsibility of everybody, especially taxpayers, to monitor to ensure transparency and accountability, if you have your tax deducted, then ask for the receipt.

“Make sure you check within 41 days of when the money was remitted to the federation account.

“This is important because during the tax amnesty close to 40 per cent has to do with withholding of tax, deducted but not remitted,’’ Fowler said.

He added that the service had put in place measures to ensure that only those companies that paid tax would access government’s contracts and services.

Fowler said necessary facilities would be deployed to the Office of the Accountant-General, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and other government agencies to ensure compliance.

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