•Projects deficit of N5.16trn, to borrow N4.28tr
By Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Musa Adamu and Christiana Ekpa
The Federal government has proposed the sum of N12.66trillion as aggregate expenditure for 2021 on a deficit of N5.16trillion to be financed by total loan packages of N4.28trillion.
The proposals as contained in the 2021- 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) , forwarded to the Senate by President Muhamnadu Buhari for approval, targets N481.41billion as statutory transfers , N5.75trillion as recurrent expenditure, N3.33trillion for capital expenditure and N3.12 trillion for debt servicing.
Critical parameters and assumptions upon which the proposals are based as contained in the documents acknowledged by the President of the Senate , Ahmad Lawan , are $40 as oil price benchmark, 1.86million barrels as oil production per day, N360 to US dollar as exchange rate etc.
Also included in the proposals are N500billion intervention fund against COVID-19 pandemic, N52billion for Public Works Programme, N32.46billion for Social Intervention Programme, N5billion as bail out for the Aviation sector, N60billion for maintenance of roads through direct labour across the six geo- political zones etc.
Aside the N4.28trillion, the FG as proposed in the documents , targets the sums of N205.15billion from Privatization proceeds to fund the budget.
President Buhari in a letter attached to the documents said: “It is with pleasure that I forward the 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) for the kind consideration and approval of the Distinguished Senate.
“Let me seize this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the cooperation, support and commitment of the leadership and distinguished members of the Senate in our collective efforts to sustain the restoration of the January – December financial year.
“In line with our commitment, we have worked very hard to achieve and earlier submission of the MTEF/FSP. This is to allow the National Assembly enough time to perform its important constitutional duty of reviewing the framework.
“I herewith forward the 2021 – 2023 MTEF/FSP as the 2021 budget of the Federal Government will be prepared based on the parameters and fiscal assumptions of the approved 2021 – 2023 MTEF/FSP. I seek the cooperation of the National Assembly for expeditious legislative action on the submission.”
The Upper legislative Chamber at the same plenary, also received another request from President Buhari for the confirmation of Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu as Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Abia State.
The letter reads : “Pursuant to paragraph 14 (3) of Part one of the third schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I am pleased to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu as Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Abia State in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”.
Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, introduced the newly appointed Acting Clerk of the Senate, Barrister Ibrahim El-Ladan, to Senators during the plenary session.