The federal government has disclosed that it will be unreasonable to expect the foreign exchange rate of naira per dollar to equal that of the parallel market.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure when she appeared before the leadership of the National Assembly on the presentation of the 2020 Nigeria Budget Performance.
When asked about the exchange rate, the Minister said, “I will say that It will be unreasonable to expect that the exchange rate at the market window will be the same as the exchange rate in the black market.
“But we do have to plan and this is the monetary authorities that are handling this to plan to work as quickly as possible to close the gap that now is close to N100. On the fiscal side, it will be to our benefit because we will be able to realise more naira and then we will be able to run the economy.”
Ahmed who told the leadership of the NASS that on the Expenditure side, N9.97 trillion was Appropriated as at the end of December 2020, while N10.16 trillion, representing 102 per cent was spent, also explained that of the Expenditure, N3 trillion was for debt service, N3.19 trillion for Personnel cost which includes Pensions.
According to her, “as at year-end 2020, N1.74 trillion had been released for Capital Expenditure, representing about 89 per cent of the provision for Capital and our of this, up to N118.37 billion was released for COVID-19 Capital Expenditure, even as she said that hopefully, 2020 Budget Implementation by March will be 100%, adding, ”
“We expect 2020 Capital Budget implementation to enhance our economic recovery efforts and budget execution. Also, with the early passage of the 2021 Budget as well as the uptick in oil price, we expect that the 2021 Budget will significantly contribute towards achieving fiscal sustainability as well as government macro-fiscal and sectoral objectives.”
When the President of the Senate asked the Finance Minister what will be her estimation for the budget performance as at March since it was 30% as at the end of January, she said, “Your Excellency, the performance of the balance of 2020 budget is a function of funds that are available, we have provided the funds, so agencies have the funds, it is also a function of procurement and the capacity of the agencies to implement. So my hope is that this performance is a hundred percent.
That is not to say that they may end up as a hundred percent. “Otherwise the time extension that the National Assembly has been given will not have been so justified and we don’t have maximum utilisation. It is difficult for me to say this is what it will be but my hope is that it will be a hundred percent as well.”