The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that the federal government retained its revenue of N3.94 trillion, representing 73 percent of the target despite the economic setback in the year 2020.
Ahmed made the disclosure while speaking in Abuja on Monday, February 22, when she appeared before the leadership of the National Assembly on the presentation of Nigeria Budget Performance.
The minister explained that the Nigerian economy suffered serious challenges in 2020, with the macroeconomic environment significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that as at year-end 2020, the federal government’s retained revenue was N3.94 trillion, representing 73 per cent of the target.
She explained further that at the end of January this year, the extended capital component of the 2020 budget achieved 30 percent.
The meeting was attended by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Idris Wase, and other principal officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
She said that the Crude Oil prices declined sharply in the world market, with Bonny Light Crude Oil price dropping from a peak of US$72.2 per barrel on January 7, 2020, to below US$20 per barrel in April 2020, adding that the impact of these developments was about 65% decline in projected net 2020 government revenues from the oil and gas sector, which adversely affected foreign exchange inflows into the economy.
On the issue of complaints by MDAs access the platform as raised by the speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Finance Minister said, “I think the complaint was earlier in the year when we were trying to transfer the balances.
“As far as I know, in the past three weeks, I haven’t heard any such complaints and we have been able to address them. But when we started the transfers, some agencies we couldn’t transfer because of some limitations in the system but we have since been able to transfer the capital component that is been utilised by the agencies budget to the system.
“On the issue of the performance of the budget, you will agree that while it is important to pass the budget early and get the implementation early, that the agencies do need to prepare and be ready to start the implementation.
“In 2020, we had disruptions due to COVID-19. It affected the performance of the budget but we don’t have those peculiarities in 2021 so we are hoping that the performance will be better than in 2020.
The reason why we asked for the extension is that agencies didn’t really have the opportunity despite the early passage of the budget to implement the budget fully and we are glad that the National Assembly has agreed to this extension so that the performance will be better for us to be able to achieve the goals and aspiration of the economy.”