All is set for President Muhammadu Buhari to present the 2021 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.
In a letter to both chambers on Tuesday, the president said he will lay the budget before the lawmakers at 11:00 a.m. The event is expected to take about an hour.
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.
Mr Buhari is also expected to address, in his speech, the 2020 budget performance, recent economic crisis with regards to crude oil price and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.
Security has been heightened at the National Assembly premises while the lawmakers await the arrival of the president and measures have been 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 face masks and observe social 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.
Follow the live updates of the budget presentation on this page.
Senate suspends plenary to join colleagues at the House of Representatives for the budget presentation.
Lawmakers proceed to the green chamber.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, arrives National Assembly. Proceeds to the chamber.
The House of Representatives has suspended its rules to admit members of the Senate and other outsiders.
Senators are now arriving into the chamber of the house where the budget will be presented.
Unlike previous years, this year’s budget presentation will witness fewer number of persons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawmakers are expected to observe social distancing and ministers who have nothing to do with the exercise have been advised to stay away.
Already, the number of journalists in the National Assembly have been cut down to also reduce number of persons.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan has arrived the chamber of the House of Representatives. He was accompanied by the deputy senate president and other principal officers.
Members of the two chambers are now seated, President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to come in any moment from now.
President Muhammadu Buhari has stepped into the Chamber. The event has kicked off fully with the National Anthem.
Before presenting the budget, the president is expected to deliver a speech as is the tradition.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who is presiding, invites a senator, Tolu Odebiyi, to lead in a Christian prayer.
We expect that before the end of the year, the 2020 budget would have been fully implemented, Mr Lawan says.
Others in the entourage of Mr Buhari are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the SGF, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari and Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, amongst others.
Mr Lawan in his welcome speech said the passage of the 2020 passage and assent in good time was a clear indication of the smooth working relationship between the executive and legislature.
He said they are ready to pass the 2020 budget before the end of the year.
He said the implementation of 2020 budget has shown a remarkable improvement compared to previous years.
The Senate President said he hopes that the 2021 budget would be targeted at consolidation of gains of the 2020 budget. He also said it should be targeted at creating more jobs.
President Buhari mounts the podium to deliver his speech.
President Buhari commends the lawmakers for approving the 2020 MTEF and the 2020 revised budget.
The Nigerian economy is currently facing serious challenges, President Buhari said.
He said he has worked hard to ensure the early submission of the 2021 to 2023 MTEF and the 2021 budget and hoped that the budget will be given a speedy consideration.
He said though the economy is facing serious challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria’s economy performed better than that of many other countries.
GDP growth was projected to be negative in the third quarter of the year. We hope to make recovery in 2021, the president said.
Mr Buhari says the government is making efforts to make life easier for Nigerians.
The 2020 budget, he said, was prepared to have a deficit of N4.8 trillion to be financed mainly by borrowing.
He said the budget yielded 1.18 million barrels per day up till June as against 1.88mbpd projected for the entire year. He, however, said the average oil price was over $40 a barrel, compared to the $28 a barrel contained in the revised 2020 budget.
The president said every MDA has received at least 50 per cent of its budget in line with his earlier directive.
For the first time in many years, Nigeria commenced implementation of budget in the first quarter.
Revenue generation remains our major challenge. Nevertheless, government is determined to meet up with growing expenditure commitment through borrowing.
Government is also determined to deliver on key policies and programmes.
We are also accelerating the construction of 337 rural roads across communities to enhance local markets.
He said he is accelerating the construction 337 rural roads that are key to agriculture.
He said the Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line has been completed after 30 years of neglect. He said the Lagos-Ibadan rail will soon commence full operation while the Abuja-Kaduna rail is working well.
He said he hopes to complete the construction of the second Niger bridge before the end of his tenure In 2023.
Second Niger bridge is about 46 per cent complete and we hope to complete it before the end of my tenure in 2023, Mr Buhari said.
We are determined to get rid of kidnappers and criminals in our midst, the president said.
He said the 2021 budget drives MDAs to generate revenue, no matter how little. He also urged the Legislature to pay attention to the revenue as much as they do to the expenditure.
The 2021 budget is the roadmap for post-coronavirus economy.
It is aimed at accelerating the economic recovery process.
The 2021 budget is themed ‘Economic Recovery and Resilience’ – with the aim of promoting economic diversification and social inclusion.
Crude oil projected at $40bpd, exchange rate at N379 to $1, GDP at three per cent and inflation rate at 11.95 per cent.
I have directed the Minister of Finance to finalise the Finance Bill and transmit for consideration and passage.
National Assembly gets N128 billion in 2021 budget as proposed by President Buhari.
Any government agency that carries out recruitment without authorisation will be sanctioned, Buhari says.
N380.21b has been allocated to the health ministry.
He said all federal staff must be on the IPPIS platform before getting their salaries. He also warned MDAs to seek approval before conducting recruitments, failure to do so according to the president would be met with sanctions.
N3.8 trillion has been allocated to all MDAs for execution of capital projects.
He said the capital budget is focused more on completing ongoing projects than execution of new ones.
The education ministry budget has been increased by 65 per cent to improve quality of education of students, the president said.
N65 billion has been retained in the 2021 budget for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the president said.
The ongoing IPPIS verification exercise has helped in eliminating ghost workers – President Buhari
N420 billion has been provided to sustain the Social Investment Programme.
President Buhari said he has directed all ministers and heads of agencies to be personally available for budget defence organised by NASS.
President Buhari concludes his budget speech and formally presents the 2021 budget to the NASS.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila commences his vote of thanks on behalf of his colleagues.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives in his closing remark appreciated the president for personally coming to present the budget.
He thanked lawmakers for the dedication and commitment they exhibited last year in ensuring the budget returns to its normal cycle.
Mr Gbajabiamila concludes his vote of thanks.
National Anthem taken again to end the event.
In his speech Mr Gbajabimila announced that all MDAs who come to present their budget proposals must do so without their security personnel. He said this is to reduce proliferation of arms in the complex.
The speaker assured the proposal will receive speedy but thorough consideration.