FG generates N4.25tn, stops 2019 capital budget releases

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The Federal Government has ruled out any possibility of releasing additional funds to finance the capital components of the 2019 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who confirmed this during the public presentation of the 2020 budget in Abuja on Thursday, also disclosed that government’s revenue as of the end of September stood at N4.25tn.

She said that with about 10 days to the end of the year, and with the 2020 budget becoming operational on January 1, it would be practically impossible to make further releases to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government for capital projects.

She said as of November 12, the Federal Government had released about N1.21tn for capital projects’ implementation.

The 2020 budget of N10.59tn was on Tuesday signed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), after it was passed by the National Assembly

The finance minister said that out of the N8.92tn approved in the 2019 budget, about N5.81tn had been spent as of September 30.

She said when compared with the prorated expenditure budget of N6.69tn, the amount released by the government represented 86.9 per cent performance.

Ahmed said debt service and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure, particularly payment of workers’ salaries and pensions, remained on track.

The finance minister said in releasing funding for capital projects, priority was given to critical ongoing projects in rail, roads, power and agricultural sectors.

She said, “We have been able to release N1.2tn; we will not be making any more releases before the end of the year.

“However, there are some in various stages of processing that would be completed. The 2020 budget takes effect from January 1 2020.”

On the Finance Bill, she said when eventually signed into law, not all the provisions of the bill would be implemented from January 1 next year.

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