President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, at the National Assembly Thursday, October 8

Buhari presents N13.08trn Federal Budget 2021 to National Assembly

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In line with the Presidency’s earlier written request to make an official presentation of the country’s next year’s Appropriation Bill, President Muhammadu Buhari has addressed and presented the N13.08 trillion 2021 Appropriation Bill to the Federal lawmakers as well as the performance of current Budget 2020 to the Federal legislators in NASS, Abuja, FCT.

The proposed Federal Budget 2021 is termed “Budget Of Economic Recovery and Resilience”.

Earlier in a letter to both chambers of the NASS Tuesday, October 6, 2020, the President had informed them that he would lay the budget before the lawmakers at 11:00 a.m. Thursday.

The estimated budget expenditure is expected to be about N13.08 trillion – according to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework approved by the Senate and House of Representatives.

In his speech, Buhari addressed the 2020 budget performance, recent economic crisis in connection crude oil price, COVID-19, related items in the country’s economy.

The President said the budget would address key economic issues as the country endeavours to recover from the damaging impacts of the novel Coronavirus pandemic besides drop in the oil price.

The government is determined to accelerate the country’s economic recovery process, while decrying the revenue generation challenges, said he.

ConsumerConnect reports that unlike previous budget presentations, Buhari was only accompanied by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and a few ministers, while the others participated virtually.

Dr. Ahmad Lawan, Senate President said that the new arrangement became necessary in order to maintain physical distancing during the presentation, as a result of the COVID-19.

Before his address, the President presented a breakdown of the performance of the current Budget 2020.

Lawan also noted that as the 2020 Budget focused on job creation and economic stability among other things, the 2021 budget is also targeted at consolidating the gains of the current budget.

According to the Senate President, the challenging global and economic environment had major implications on Nigeria.

He nonetheless, states that the government did not relent on its effort at poverty alleviation and job creation.
One of which included the Public Works Programme, said he.

Lawan also promised that NASS would collaborate with all relevant ministries and agencies to ensure speedy implementation of the 2021 Budget when passed.

Despite the challenges, the government has delivered on key polices, programmes and projects, Buhari said.

According to the President, “the main thrust of the 2021 budget is to complete as many ongoing projects as possible,” while giving priority to the ones that most affect the people.

Earlier report in the day, report had indicated that security was been heightened on the National Assembly premises, as the lawmakers awaited the arrival of the President.

Safety measures were also put in place put in place with regards to COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, already said not all legislative and presidential aides will be allowed into the chamber.

He had also made it mandatory for lawmakers to wear nose masks and observe physical distancing.

“From the entry of the President into the chamber and addresses and the presentation and laying will be just an hour event so that we are able to comply with the requirements of the COvID-19 protocol.

“Mr. President too this time around will not be accompanied by many people on the entourage. Only few people – very key and relevant to budget – will accompany Mr. President into the chamber.

“I think by the arrangement those of them that have little to do with the budget will join virtually what will happen,” he told senators on Wednesday.

Report indicates that there were operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) stationed at the two entrances into the sprawling NASS Complex.

They allowed only visitors with designated tags in. Journalists and staff without tags were turned back.

As early as 7.00a.m., Austin Adesoro, an Information Officer in the office of the Speaker of NASS arrived and asked the security men to allow reporters in, according to Channels TV.

They manned the two main entrances with about 10 operatives at the back entrance to the lobby.

Three DSS men sat at the side entrance of the Green Chamber where the joint sitting would hold.

A mixture of men from the DSS and Sergeants-at-Arms secured the main entrance.

The corridors of the NASS complex were ostensibly based on a circular by Elder Felix Orumwense, Secretary Directorate of Human Resources and Staff Development, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA) asking workers to stay away from work today.

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