The Federal Government may extend the execution of the capital component of the 2020 budget from the expiration date of December 31 to the end of March next year.
The development, according to findings, was necessitated by the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed the implementation of the capital component of the budget.
There is a report that the delay in capital budget execution was also caused by difficulties in obtaining Certificates of No Objection from the Bureau for Public Procurement by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The 2020 budget which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 17, 2019 had a projection of N7.2tn for recurrent expenditure while capital expenditure was put at N1.94tn for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.
The National Assembly had raised the budget size from the initial N10.59tn to N10.8tn as a result of the need to accommodate more expenditure to tackle the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Before the revision of budget, the Federal Government had projected to spend N560.47bn for statutory transfer, N538.72bn for gratuities and service wide pension, and N302.43bn for overheads.
Also, the sum of N396.23bn was planned to be spent on other service wide votes, N65bn for presidential amnesty programme and N350bn for special intervention programmes.
There was also plan to spend N2.72tn on debt servicing; while fiscal deficit was estimated at N2.28trn.
Figures obtained from the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning showed that out of the N1.94trn allocated for capital projects, about N1.2trn had been released. This had resulted into a funding shortfall of about N740bn.
The National Assembly had returned the country to a January-December budget cycle with the 2020 Appropriation Act, making this year’s budget to expire on December 31, with the 2021 Appropriation Bill presently before the National Assembly expected to take effect from January 1.
It was gathered that all unspent balances in the recurrent expenditure cash books at the end of the 2020 financial year will be closed.
Specifically, the official stated that the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform will be closed by 12 midnight of December 31, this year while MDA balances will be mopped into the Consolidated Revenue/Treasury Single Account.