Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed has expressed confidence that President Muhammad Buhari will sign the Finance Bill before this week runs out. She disclosed this at the public presentation and breakdown of the 2020 budget in Abuja, yesterday. Ahmed said the provisions of the bill would take effect from January as suggested in some quarters of the media, noting however that before any implementation, there must be engagement between the Federal Inland Revenue Service and commercial banks on the Tax Identification Number (TIN) among others.
“On the Finance Bill, we’re expecting that before the week runs out, the Finance Bill will be sent to the president for assent and our target is that the bill takes effect from January 2020,’’ she said. She said the top 10 government-owned enterprises have been included in the budget so as to help the populace have an understanding of the budget of all the ministries. Ahmed also stated that the federal government was able to release N1.21trn for 2019 and will not be making further releases for the year, except those that are at various stages of completion as the 2020 budget is expected to take effect from January 2020.
She also clarified that capital spending in the 2020 budget is 26.4 per cent of the entire budget which is below the aspiration for 30 per cent, adding however that the federal government was making efforts, as the major challenge was revenue. The minister further raised concern on the country’s population growth rate which, according to her, is a “source of concern” for the government as the population rate superseded growth rate by far.