President Buhari may sign 2020 Budget tomorrow

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to sign the 2020 budget on Tuesday barring any last-minute change, sources from the National Assembly disclosed.

The source said that the Presidency had invited the leadership of the federal parliament to the budget-signing ceremony at the Presidential Villa.

On the invited list to witness the signing of the budget are: President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, among others.

“We have a notice from the Presidency to be at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday to witness the signing of the budget. The date and time may change but I have it on good authority that the ceremony is billed for Tuesday,” the source told Punch.

Why it matters: The National Assembly had put a clause in the bill that the budget should run from January 1, 2020, bringing Nigeria back to a January-December budget cycle.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had on December 5, 2019, concurrently passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill, raising the total estimates from the proposed N10.33 trillion to about N10.6 trillion.

Details: In the new total sum of N10,594,362,364,830, the parliament raised statutory transfers from the proposed N556.7 billion to N560,470,827,235; raised debt service from N2.45 trillion to N2,725,498,930,000; reduced recurrent (non-debt) expenditure from N4.88tn to N4,842,974,600,640; and increased development fund for capital expenditure from N2.14 trillion to N2,465,418,006,955.

As part of the N264 billion increment, the National Assembly raised its own budget from N125 billion to N128 billion.

Meanwhile, Nairametrics had reported on Friday that Buhari might take his time to scrutinise and sign the document, probably to spot padding.

On the bill, which was sent to the President last Thursday by the National Assembly, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Umar el-Yakub, said, “I am sure you know that the President will take his time to look at it all through before assent.”

On Thursday, December 5, 2019, passed the 2020 National Budget of N10.59 trillion, two months after President Buhari presented the bill before a joint session of the National Assembly. At the time of the presentation, the revenue generation estimated to fund the 2020 national budget was N8.155 trillion.

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