The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the National Assembly would not accede to another request from the Executive to extend the capital implementation of the 2020 Budget.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had last week passed the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly for the extension of the capital implementation of the 2020 Budget till March 2021.
Lawan, who made the position of the National Assembly known on Monday, spoke in his remark after the upper chamber passed a N13.58 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year.
According to the Senate President, the National Assembly’s approval granting extension for implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget last week, should therefore be fully utilised by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.
He added that the extension of capital implementation of the 2020 budget till March 31, 2021 alongside the implementation of the 2021 budget starting in January 2021, would guarantee sufficient injection of funds into Nigeria’s economy.
He said: “For Nigerians, this budget that has been passed in the National Assembly today, is to ensure that the economy is supported fully through public expenditure, because the economy of our country depends largely on public expenditure.
“The budget extension period for implementation of the 2020 budget, which we did last year, is to ensure that the funds that are available for 2020 are not lost.
“So, there will be two budgets running: funds from 1st January, 2021 up to 31st March, 2021; and then the implementation of the 2021 budget itself to start from January.
“That is absolute fight against the recession we are suffering from.
“With a projected 3 per cent growth in our Gross Domestic Product in the 2021 budget, we believe that the recession, which Nigeria is in, will be over before the end of the first quarter.”
Lawan, while urging the Executive arm of government to ensure the implementation of the 2020 budget till March 2021 as extended last week by the Legislature, warned that the National Assembly would reject any further extension request on the implementation of capital expenditure contained in the 2020 Budget.
He said: “I want to urge the executive arm of government, first to ensure that they implement the 2020 Budget that will last up till 31st March, 2021.
“There will be no extension after 31st March.
“Everyone must be on their toes in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure they implement the budget 2020.
“And for 2021, we have to do everything and anything possible to ensure that we implement the budget like we tried to do in 2020.
“I believe that the economy of Nigerians will receive the right kind of boost from the implementation of the two budgets.”