COVID-19: FG Cuts Down 2020 Budget, Suspend Recruitments

Zainab-Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, in a statement on Wednesday, March 18, disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has consented to reduce the 2020 budget by about N1.5 trillion.

The development was said to be part of measures which will address the impacts of coronavirus disease on the economy, 9jatoday understands.

Speaking to the State House correspondents on Wednesday, Zainab noted that the proposed budget cut of N1.5trillion, which must be approved by the National Assembly would include N457 billion from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) under-recover.

She said; “From the expenditure side, the President has approved that we should cut down the capital expenditure budgeted by 20 per cent across Ministries, Departments and Agencies.”

“Also, a 25 per cent cut of all government-owned enterprises and these include the ones that are in the national budget, the 10 top ones we included in the 2020 budget but also those we did not include in the 2020 budget.”

“So, all of these would have their recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure cut down by 25 per cent.

“By these measures, we expect that the operating surpluses that would accrue to the federation will increase because when their operational expenditure reduces the operating surpluses that they remit to the treasury will also increase significantly.”

“What we have done is that we have written every ministry and given them guidelines on how these adjustments will be made to enable us to have detailed inputs from the ministries.”

“But I can just say that the bulk cut is about N1.5 trillion, the reduction in the size of the budget. And this includes N457 billion from PMS under-recovery,’’ she said.

The Minister revealed further that the administration has also agreed to stop recruitments except for essential services such as security and health services.

“The Council also agreed to restore and compliant by the civil service retirement regulations, while the modalities for the implementation of the Social Investment Programme would also be reviewed,” Zainab was quoted by DailyTrust.

Speaking about Civil Service recruitment, Zainab said it has been agreed that recruitment into the civil service should be suspended, but that the current federal government workforce would be maintained.

She said, “On recruitment, there is already an instruction to stop recruitment. What the agencies have been doing is a replacement but even that is being suspended.

“When things improve we will go back to the issue of recruitment but for now, our wage bill is already very high.

“The president has directed that salaries and pensions must be paid unfailingly, so we are not looking at downsizing in any way.”

“We are maintaining our workforce as it is but we are just stopping the increase in the size of the nominal roll,” NAN quoted her as saying.

In another news, the Federal Government of Nigeria has officially announced the original price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), well known as Petrol to be N125, and not the initial price rumoured, 9jatoday report.

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