By Stella Obi
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday presented the 2021 budget proposal to the joint sitting of the National Assembly.
President Buhari who was invited to the floor of the NASS to present the budget proposal by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan said no new staff refeuitment will be carried out in 2021.
He said only workers captured on the IPPIS will receive salaries in 2021.
This he said was aimed at containing payment to non existing workers and thereby block some of the leakage in government revenue.
Besides, he said those that contravene the no employment will be sanctioned.
He also assured Nigerians that his administration will ensure the completion of ongoing project. This he said will be priority rather than new ones.
He also said he was going to provide NASS list of critical projects that government must work to complete so as to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
He said the 2021 budget proposal contain only implementable projects.
Buhari also said the government will address the issue of revenue leakages and ensure that funds are redirected to areas of importance .
He said the ongoing verification exercise for IPPIS will continue. This, he said will address the issue of ghost workers.
He stressed that completion of many ongoing project is the main thrust in 2021 and vowed to prioritise these projects.
He also assured Nigerians that the administration understand the difficulties Nigerians are going through as a result of reforms in the petroleum Industry
He however said the new petrol pricing regime, was aimed to make funds available for projects that will impact on lives.
The much awaited Petroleum bill, the president said when passed into law has the capacity to attract investment and increase Government revenue.
Other efforts to be out in place in the coming years include N420 billion in the 2021 budget to sustain the SIP.
Besides, he said the CBN has reduced the interest rate in it’s funding programmes from nine percent (9%) to five percent (5%) with one year maritorium, all in the efforts at addressing hardship in the country.
He commending the harmonious relationship between Executive and Legialature.
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan has said that the country’s over 200 revenue generating agencies have so much inefficiencies in their system.
Lawan in his address at the joint sitting of the National Assembly for the presentation of the 2021 budget proposal by President Buhari said the the budget would be ready before the end of the year.
He assured the executive arm that the National Assembly was ready to commence work on the budget.
The law maker who commended the government for the level of budget implementation in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic also said that there was need not only create job, but also to sustain jobs.
He therefore urgurged wd the executive to do a quick appraisal of all the country’s revenue generating agencies.
He said, “We need to critically examine revenue generating agencies. So much inefficiency in revenue generating agencies.”
He assures Buhari that the NASS will be thorough in the scrutiny of the 2021 budget proposal.
The Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila assured Nigerians that
efforts would be put to.ensure the budget is passed in record time.
He added, “We will exhibit the same commitment this year because we cannot return to the old.”
He further assured Nigerians that the House will “pass a budget that will meet our realities.”
He also urged all MDAs who come to defend budget will do so without their security details present to avoid proliferation of arms in committee hearing rooms and adhere to Covid-19 protocols.