Nigeria: Buhari Directs Release of 50% of Amended Capital Budgets to MDAs (Full Speech)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed the revised 2020 budget into law.

Mr Buhari said the government had made some progress in the implementation of the Appropriation Act 2020.

“As at 31st May 2020, the sum of N253.33 billion have been released for the implementation of capital projects,” he said.

He said the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is in the process of effecting budgetary releases that will ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies receive at least 50 per cent of their amended capital budgets by the end of July.

Read his speech at an event attended by the leaders of the National Assembly and senior government figures:

PROTOCOLS

1. It is my pleasure and honour to sign the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 into law today. I thank the Distinguished Senate President, the Right Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, and all the Distinguished and Honourable Leaders, and Members, of the National Assembly for the prompt review and passage of the amendments to the 2020 Appropriation Act.

2. You will recall that I signed the 2020 Appropriation Act into law on Tuesday, 17th December 2019. However, it became necessary to revise the Appropriation Act 2020 in response to recent developments, in particular, the COVID-19 Pandemic. Crude oil prices in the world market declined sharply from a high of $72.20 per barrel in January 2020 to below $20 per barrel in April 2020, and have since remained around $40 per barrel.

3. Nigeria’s crude oil production quota has been reduced as part of the efforts of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to strengthen the oil market. Global trade has generally been disrupted as almost all economies were locked down for protracted periods in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

4. All these developments are plunging the global economy into recession, and Nigeria has not escaped the impact of this. In effect, the assumptions underlying the 2020 Appropriation Act are no longer sustainable.

5. It is therefore imperative to adjust our expected revenues, considering the widespread disruptions in domestic and international economic activities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the containment measures taken in response thereto.

6. Understandably too, we needed to reallocate resources in the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 to ensure effective implementation of required health and emergency measures, as well as to mitigate the negative socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

7. The 2020 Amended Budget, which I have just signed into law today, underscores our Administration’s firm commitment to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the lives and livelihood of our people. With these budget amendments, as well as our recently launched N2.3 trillion Stimulus Programme, we are well-positioned to safeguard the economy.

8. Considering recent budget implementation challenges, I have directed that efforts be made to ensure effective implementation of the Appropriation (Repeal and Amendment) Act, 2020 in order to realise its laudable objectives.

9. All Ministers are to ensure that their Ministries, Departments and Agencies intensify capital project delivery efforts and fully cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to achieve the laudable objectives of the Budget.

10. We have, nevertheless, made some progress in the implementation of the Appropriation Act 2020. As at 31st May 2020, the sum of N253.33 billion have been released for the implementation of capital projects.

11. The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is in the process of effecting budgetary releases that will ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies receive at least 50 per cent of their amended capital budgets by the end of this month.