Present at the brief signing ceremony were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, among other senior government officials.
The 2020 Budget passed by the National Assembly provides for aggregate expenditures of N10.594 trillion, an increase of N263.95 billion over the Executive’s Proposal that was submitted in October 2019.
Being a deficit budget, the President used the opportunity of the occasion to announce his plan to send a borrowing plan (2020-2022) bill for passage by the lawmakers, even as he requested for the lawmakers’ virement of some aspects of the budget to fund critical projects, in view of the adjustments they made to the original amount he had proposed.
Buhari noted that with current global oil market outlook and his administration’s strategic approach to revenue growth, there was optimism that government would still be able to finance the 2020 Budget.
The president said government had examined the adjustments and may revert to the National Assembly with a request for a Virement or other relevant amendments.
Buhari spoke further thus: “You will recall, that I laid the 2020 Appropriation Bill before the Joint Session of the National Assembly on 8th October, 2019 and forwarded the 2019 Finance Bill shortly thereafter.
“I am very pleased that the National Assembly worked uncommonly long hours in the interest of our people and the national economy to ensure detailed legislative review and passage of the Budget within two months.
“This patriotic zeal adopted by the Ninth National Assembly has restored our budget cycle to a predictable January to December fiscal year.
“Furthermore, in the twenty years since the return to civilian democracy, this will be just the fourth time that the Federal Budget was passed before the end of the previous year, and this is the earliest.
“The passage of the Finance Bill, which I am told will be done in the coming days, will also be a landmark achievement worthy of recognition, being the first time, this has been done in the last twenty years.
“We look forward to receiving this Bill, shortly, for Presidential Assent. Once passed into law, the Finance Bill will support the funding and implementation of the 2020 Budget. We shall sustain this tradition by ensuring that subsequent budgets are also accompanied by a Finance Bill.
“For these achievements, I must therefore congratulate and thank the Distinguished Senate President, the Right Honourable Speaker and indeed, all members of the Federal Legislature for their commitment and support.
“I equally thank the Ninth National Assembly for supporting important legislations such as the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Amendment Act and the 2019 Finance Bill. These laws are vital to the successful implementation of the 2020 Budget.
“I am aware of the regular high-level discussions that took place, between senior officials of the Executive and The 2020 Budget passed by the National Assembly provides for aggregate expenditures of N10.594 trillion, an increase of N263.95 billion over the Executive’s Proposal that was submitted in October 2019 to the Legislature during this period.
“I commend this renewed partnership, the mutual understanding as well as collaboration between these two arms of government.
“Now, we are well positioned to effectively implement the budget and deliver our promises to Nigerians. Businesses will also benefit as they are now in a position to plan more effectively.
“We have to sustain this harmonious working relationship. I expect that, going forward, this will be the norm.”