Nigeria to Increase 2021 Budget by 18% to N12.7trn
By Dipo Olowookere
Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is planning to increase its national budget for the 2021 fiscal year by 18 per cent.
A document released on Monday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed that the sum of N12.7 trillion is being proposed by the federal government for the year.
If approved, this would be exactly 17.6 per cent higher than the N10.8 trillion budget passed by the National Assembly for the 2020 financial year.
Nigeria had to do a downward review of this year’s spending because of a decline in the main source of revenue for the country, crude oil sales.
The oil benchmark was initially fixed for $57 per barrel, but it was lowered to $30 per barrel in March 2020 before being later trimmed again to $25 per barrel.
The revised appropriation bill passed by the parliament was only signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last month.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge dent on the revenue streams of the nation, though the fiscal authorities have been making moves to patch the deficit with stringent tax policies, which the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have kicked against.
In the document released by the Minister yesterday, Africa’s giant said it intends to generate revenue of N7.5 trillion, while the deficit would be raised from debts, both domestically and internationally.
Also next year, the country said it plans to use N3.1 trillion to service its various debts incurred from loans and the sale of debt securities to both local and foreign investors.
However, efforts would be made to complete the different projects spread across the country, stressing that no new works would be embarked upon without the provision of adequate funds for the completion.
The exchange rate of the Naira to the Dollar is expected to be at N380/$1 next year after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did two currency readjustments this year from N306/$1 last year.