Federal government agencies in the Presidency have held consultations for the 2021 budget, as the rush continues to meet the deadline to get budget proposals from President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly this month.
The frenzy is on to get the financial proposals to the federal lawmakers, who beat their own record last year to get out the Appropriation Bill out of the Assembly for Buhari’s signature before the beginning of 2020. This effectively re-introduced the traditional January to December financial year into the polity.
The National Assembly gloated over the feat, but the unexpected entry of Covid-19 dampened spirits as all calculations were upturned, and Nigeria, like other countries of the world, resorted to ingenious measures to stay afloat.
Whether the 2020 Budget was of any tangible benefits is a matter of contention among economists, but the Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Tijjani Umar, led the 2021 budget bilateral meeting between Government Agencies under the Presidency and officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The virtual meeting took place on Saturday, September 12, 2020, at the conference room of the State House administrative block.
It was attended by Chief Executives and key budget, finance and accounts staff of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the State House Permanent Secretary, “the preparation of the 2021 budget estimates takes into consideration the policies and strategies contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), which is the Federal Government pre-budget statement.”
Umar also explained that in line with the directive issued by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the annual budget is being prepared using the Zero-Based Budget (ZBB) approach and in compliance with the government’s policy thrust as articulated in the MTEF/FSP and Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).
Citing a September 1, 2020 circular issued by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, the Permanent Secretary, State House, said MDAs have been directed to work assiduously to conclude the budget bilateral meetings as scheduled in order to get the 2021 budget ready for transmission to the National Assembly (NASS) by President Muhammadu Buhari this month.
The latest budget circular issued by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning put the expenditure ceiling of the 2021 pre-bilateral proposal for the Presidency at N10 billion compared with N15.3 billion of the revised 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly.