Posted by Emmanuel Elebeke and Cecilia Anthony | 20 December 2019 | 833 times
The Minister for
Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the
implementation of the 2020 Budget takes effect from 1st January, 2020.
The minister announced this, on Thursday, at the public presentation of 2020 Budget breakdown held at the ministry’s headquarters, in Abuja.
This even as the minister said the ministry had halted further releases for 2019 capital projects to prepare for the implementation of the 2020 budget starting in January.
She said so far, the ministry had released N1.2 trillion, and will not be making further releases before the end of the year except those still going through processing, noting that priority was given to critical ongoing projects in rail, roads, power and agriculture sectors while debt service and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure, particularly payment of workers’ salaries and pensions will continue.
“Implementation of 2020 budget takes effect from 1st January 2020, and we have plans in place for enforcement and monitoring.
“We have been able to release N1.2 trillion, we will not be making any more releases before the end of the year. We are not doing any more releases. However, there are some in various stages of processing that would be completed. The 2020 budget takes effect from January 1, 2020.”
“I can assure you that in releasing funding for capital projects, we gave priority to critical ongoing projects in rail, roads, power and agriculture sectors while debt service and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure, particularly the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions will continue.”
On the Finance Bill and the requirement of Tax Identification Number (TIN) to operate a bank account, the minister said the bill is expected to be signed into law by the President today, adding that measures had been put in place for the implementation.
“We are confident that within this week the Mr President will have this bill from the National Assembly and he will normally ask various ministries to review and advise him before he assents.
“Our target is that we start the work from 1st of January 2020; I am not saying that every provision in the finance bill will take effect from the 1st of January because we have seen in the papers, people saying from 1st of January, without TIN number, you won’t be able to operate your account.
“But we have to engage the commercial bank and FIRS and work out a modality on how this would be implemented.”
Normally there would be information that would be given to citizens on how they can get their TIN numbers, and there will be some time given for that process to be activated before any provision on stopping the use of an account is taken.”
The Finance Bill, she said has about 83 modifications, meant to improve the business environment, especially for small and medium enterprises.
On 2020 budget releases, she said that the federal government will commence from January 1, 2020, a seamless and effective budget delivery, by releasing guidelines for the implementation of the budget.
According to her, the projected N8.42 trillion revenue is 3.2 per cent or N263.94 billion over the executive proposal, and 10.9 per cent more than the 2019 Budget of N7.59 trillion.
To promote fiscal transparency and accountability, she explained that the budget of 10 major Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) have been integrated into the Federal Government budget with effect from 2020, and promised the rest would be integrated into turns.
The minister, however, informed that about 44 per cent of projected revenues will come from oil-related sources while 56 per cent will come from non-oil sources, stressing that, the size of the budget has been constrained by relatively low revenues.
She added that the government was doing all it could to boost the GDP growth rate to seven per cent, despite growing below the population growth rate.
On the new minimum wage, Ahmed said consequential arrangement had been made to pay all the salary and welfare adjustment to the worker by December, which is expected to be paid soon before Christmas festivity.
In his remarks, the Director-General of Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze said the Budget tried in carrying the CSOs along during the budget preparation stage and promised to improve on it in the coming years.
Akabueze also hinted that about N15 billion provision was made for recapitalisation of BOI and BOA in addition to initial N10 billion.
For effective monitoring, he said every major project would have GPS technology to enable citizens to know what is going on the project site. (Vanguard)
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