BUDGET 2021 DEBATE
The Green Legislative Chamber has commenced debate on the principles of the 2021 budget, saying that Ministries, Department and Agencies that fails to implement the Budget when passed would be penalised.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajiabiamila noted on Tuesday that adequate penalities will be imbedded in the 2021 Appropriation Act for erring agencies or personalities.
Leading the debate, the Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa said implementation of the 2020 budget was greatly hampered by the global pandemic.
He assured that government is determined to make further releases for capital projects before the 2020 budget life span elapses.
Ado-Doguwa noted that the parameters for 2021 budget were carefully pegged to save Nigeria from further economic woes and solicited the support of the lawmakers for its early passage.
Hon Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Hons Serguis Ogun, Abdulrazak Namdas and Abubakar Yinusa raised concerns about borrowing to fund the budget.
The Lawmakers stressed that the borrowing should be domestic adding that cost of governance should also be reduced to free cash for capital budget.
They also identified the need to cut down on international traveling by MDAs as well as need to block all leakages.
Hon Serguis Ogun Hon Abdulrazak Namdas, Hon Abubakar Yinusa, Hons Mark Gbilah and Toby Okechukwu introduced a twist to the debate when they demanded that the budget be withdrawn.
Their argument was based on the fact that the deficit was 3.6% which was more than the 3% limit set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act but were ruled out of order by the Speaker who sustained a point of order by Hon James Falake, that the budget was a mere proposal which is meant to be tinkered by the National Assembly.
Hon Mark Gbilah, Hon. Toby Okechukwu.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday, 8th October 2020 to presented the 2021 budget proposal of N13.08 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly.
The Budget was premised on oil price benchmark of USD$40 per barrel; daily production of 1.86 mbpd and Exchange rate of N379/US$.