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Drama as Senators probe NDDC nominee over ‘inconsistency in CV’

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented his proposal for the 2020 Budget to the National Assembly in Abuja.

Below is the full text of the speech:

2020 BUDGET SPEECH:
Budget of Sustaining Growth and Job Creation
Delivered By:

His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari

President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

At the Joint Session of the National Assembly, Abuja

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

PROTOCOLS

1. I will start by asking you to pardon my voice. As you can hear, I have a cold as a result of working hard to meet your deadline!

2. I am delighted to present the 2020 Federal Budget Proposals to this Joint Session of the National Assembly, being my first budget presentation to this 9th National Assembly.

3. Before presenting the Budget, let me thank all of you Distinguished and Honourable Members of the National Assembly, for your avowed commitment to cooperate with the Executive to accelerate the pace of our socio-economic development and enhance the welfare of our people.

4. I will also once again thank all Nigerians, who have demonstrated confidence in our ability to deliver on our socio-economic development agenda, by re-electing this Administration with a mandate to Continue the Change. We remain resolutely committed to the actualization of our vision of a bright and prosperous future for all Nigerians.

5. During this address, I will present highlights of our budget proposals for the next fiscal year. The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning will provide full details of these proposals, subsequently.

OVERVIEW OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS IN 2019

6. The economic environment remains very challenging, globally. The International Monetary Fund expects global economic recovery to slow down from 3.6 percent in 2018 to 3.5 percent in 2020. This reflects uncertainties arising from security and trade tensions with attendant implications on commodity price volatility.

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7. Nearer to home, however, Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to continue to grow from 3.1 percent in 2018 to 3.6 percent in 2020. This is driven by investor confidence, oil production recovery in key exporting countries, sustained strong agricultural production as well as public investment in non-dependent economies.

 

8. Mr. Senate President; Right Honourable Speaker; I am pleased to report that the Nigerian economy thus far has recorded nine consecutive quarters of GDP growth. Annual growth increased from 0.82 percent in 2017 to 1.93 percent in 2018, and 2.02 percent in the first half of 2019. The continuous recovery reflects our economy’s resilience and gives credence to the effectiveness of our economic policies thus far.

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9. We also succeeded in significantly reducing inflation from a peak of 18.72 percent in January 2017, to 11.02 percent by August 2019. This was achieved through effective fiscal and monetary policy coordination, exchange rate stability and sensible management of our foreign exchange.

10. We have sustained accretion to our external reserves, which have risen from US$23 billion in October 2016 to about US$42.5 billion by August 2019. The increase is largely due to favourable prices of crude oil in the international market, minimal disruption of crude oil production given the stable security situation in the Niger Delta region and our import substitution drive, especially in key commodities.

11. The foreign exchange market has also remained stable due to the effective implementation of the Central Bank’s interventions to restore liquidity, improve access and discourage currency speculation. Special windows were created that enabled small businesses, investors and importers in priority economic sectors to have timely access to foreign exchange. Moment Senate screened NDDC

12. Furthermore, as a sign of increased investor confidence in our economy, there were remarkable inflows of foreign capital in the second quarter of 2019. The total value of capital imported into Nigeria increased from US$12 billion in the first half year of 2018 to US$14 billion for the same period in 2019.

PERFORMANCE OF THE 2019 BUDGET

13. Distinguished and Honourable Members of the National Assembly, you will recall that the 2019 ‘Budget of Continuity’ was based on a benchmark oil price of US$60 per barrel, oil production of 2.3 mbpd, and an exchange rate of N305 to the United States Dollar. Based on these parameters, we projected a deficit of N1.918 trillion or 1.37 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

14. As at June 2019, Federal Government’s actual aggregate revenue (excluding Government-Owned Enterprises) was N2.04 trillion. This revenue performance is only 58 percent of the 2019 Budget’s target due to the underperformance of both oil and non-oil revenue sources. Specifically, oil revenues were below target by 49 percent as at June 2019. This reflects the lower-than-projected oil production, deductions for cost under-recovery on supply of premium motor spirit (PMS), as well as higher expenditures on pipeline security/maintenance and Frontier exploration. Drama as Senators probe

15. Daily oil production averaged 1.86 mbpd as at June 2019, as against the estimated 2.3 mbpd that was assumed. This shortfall was partly offset as the market price of Bonny Light crude oil averaged US$67.20 per barrel which was higher than the benchmark price of US$60. Drama as Senators probe

16. Additionally, revenue projections from restructuring of Joint Venture Oil and Gas assets and enactment of new fiscal terms for Production Sharing Contracts did not materialize, as the enabling legislation for these reforms is yet to be passed into law. Drama as Senators probe

17. The performance of non-oil taxes and independent revenues such as internally generated revenues were N614.57 billion and N217.84 billion, respectively.

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