Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director-General of Budget Office

Agency to Nigerians: Federal Government on course to pass 2021 Budget before year end

*We believe that we are on course to have Budget 2021 passed before the end of this year, says Ben Akabueze, the Director-General of Budget Office

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Nigeria’s Budget Office has disclosed that the Federal Government is on course to ensure that the 2021 Appropriation Bill is passed before the year end.

Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director-General of Budget Office, said this while on a Channels Television programme   Thursday, November 12, 2020.

The Director-General noted that the budget defence by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) before the Federal legislators in the National Assembly (NASS) has been going on smoothly thus far.

ConsumerConnect reports President Muhammadu Buhari presented the proposed 2021 Budget estimates of N13 trillion to NASS October 8, 2020.

Buhari disclosed he is confident that the bill titled, ‘Budget Of Economic Recovery and Resilience’, would address key economic issues as the country tries to recover from the impact of the disruptive Coronavirus and the crude price drop in the international oil market.

Akabueze, while assuring consumers, said: “It is going reasonably well, there is a commitment on both sides to get this done, and when issues arise for those issues to be sorted out promptly.

“So, we believe that we are on course to have the budget passed before the end of the year.”

He as well clarified the controversy sparked by his recent comments on workers’ salaries, especially in November when he appeared before a committee of lawmakers in NASS.

The Director-General of Budget Office stated that he was quoted wrongly by saying that the nation was broke, and could not afford to pay salaries of workers in the Federal Civil Service.

“I was shocked at the reportage of that, especially in the print media yesterday. In fact, one had a blazing headline ‘we are broke’. I never said anything like that.

“Basically, what it is, is that at the time we were preparing the 2020 Budget, the negotiations for the minimum wage were ongoing and being finalised. So, the 2020 personnel budget for MDAs was based on the old salary structure.”

He explained that the government had to make a provision in the service-wide vote to be able to deal with the situation which he said was anticipated would occur towards the end of the year.

Akabueze maintained that the government is in control of the situation where MDAs would be unable to pay salaries, stressing that 428 of them had been identified.

The affected MDAs would get the needed funds from the service-wide vote to pay the salaries of their personnel for November and December 2020, he assured Nigerians.

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