By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja
Two months to the end of 2020 fiscal year, President Muhammadu Buhari is set to present the 2021 budget estimate at a joint session of Senate and the House of Representatives tomorrow at 11 am.
The disclosure was contained in a letter he sent to the Senate and was read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the plenary yesterday.
“May I crave the kind indulgence of the distinguished Senate to grant me the slot of 11:00hrs on Thursday, 8th October 2020, to formally present the 2021 Appropriation bill to the Joint Session of the National Assembly.
“While I look forward to addressing the Joint session, please, accept Mr Senate President, the assurances of my highest regard,” the letter read.
Recall that the House of Representatives had approved the Medium Term Expenditure (MTEF), the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and put the total proposed 2021 expenditure at N13.08 trillion.
Lawan had also said that the Senate would provide a one-month window for budget defence by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“Like last year, the month of October, 2020 will be dedicated for this exercise. Subsequent months of November and December will be dedicated to the internal processing of the Budget by NASS.
“The various MDAs are therefore advised to ensure that they avail themselves the opportunity of the Budget defence window to appear with all the relevant and necessary information to defend their Budget Estimates.”
According to the proposal contained in the 2021- 2023 MTEF/FSP), sent to the Senate in July, the budget will be on a deficit of N5.16 trillion and will be partly financed by a total loan package of N4.28 trillion.
The proposed budget also targets N481.41 billion as statutory transfers – also known as first line charge (a category into which the National Assembly budget falls) and N5.75 trillion as recurrent expenditure, N3.33 trillion for capital expenditure and N3.12 trillion for debt servicing.