The All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed confidence that the National Assembly will consolidate its patriotic disposition by speedily considering and passing of the 2021 Appropriation Bill.
The APC expressed the confidence in a statement issued by Mr Yekini Nabena, its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, on Thursday in Abuja while congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari for presenting the proposed budget to the National Assembly.
“The APC welcomes President Buhari’s presentation of the proposed 2021 National Budget aptly tagged; ‘Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience’ to a joint session of the 9th National Assembly.
“We are confident that the 9th National Assembly will continue and consolidate its patriotic disposition by speedily considering and passing of the 2021 Appropriation Bill,’’ he said.
He added that the early passage of the bill would enable government to start its implementation by Jan. 1, 2021, as canvassed by President Buhari.
Nabena, however, said that President Buhari’s administration was not oblivious of the perseverance and continued support Nigerians had displayed in these difficult times.
He noted that the times were made difficult by the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the crash in oil prices which had affected national revenue and individual livelihoods.
The APC spokesman added that it was, however, commendable that the Federal Government had not been found wanting in its resolve to cushion the biting effects on the citizenry.
This, he said, government was doing while delivering on key policies, programmes and critical infrastructure projects which included the ongoing national railway project, and the second Niger Bridge.
According to him, these are among other critical projects that are positively impacting our national lives.
“In the face of dwindling national resources, President Buhari in his 2021 budget presentation speech has committed to intensify measures to address revenue leakages,’’ he said.
He noted that the president had also redirected scarce resources to the poor and vulnerable.
He added that the Federal Government was doing this through deregulation of the price of petroleum products, continued verification exercise with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and implementation of service based electricity tariffs.
He urged members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to show patriotism by supporting government’s intentions on the IPPIS especially.
He also appealed to the union to end the ongoing strike to enable students to resume school.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had earlier approved a budget estimate of N13.08 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, after the Sept. 30, FEC meeting, had said the proposal was designed to enable the country to attain inclusive growth.
“The budget assumptions that were presented to the council today include: crude oil price benchmark at $40 per barrel; oil production at 1.86 million barrels per day; exchange rate of N379 to $1; Gross Domestic Product growth target of three per cent; and inflation rate of 11.95 per cent,” she said.
The minister said the proposal was aimed at stimulating the economy, creating jobs, enhancing growth, creating infrastructural investment, and promoting manufacturing and local production.