Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola’s recent appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider higher budgetary allocations to his ministry appears to have been heeded as the sector got the highest vote in the 2020 budget.
Buhari laid the budget before the joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, and stated that it was based on the hiked VAT rate of 7?5 per cent, which has incidentally been rejected by the legislature.
The president announced that N125 billion was allocated to the National Assembly while N110 billion was allocated to the Judiciary.
He also said the budget was designed to come into effect on January 1, 2020.
The new national minimum wage was also captured in the budget.
The breakdown of the votes are as follows:
Works & Housing – N262bn
Transportation – N123bn
UBEC – N112bn
Defence – N100bn
Agriculture – N83 bn
Water – N82bn
Niger Delta – N81bn
Education – N48bn
Health – N46bn
NEDC – N38bn
SIP – N30bn
FCT – N28bn.
He said the threshold for VAT registration would be raised to N25m annual turnover to help small businesses.
He said the emphasis is on the completion of ongoing projects and not stating new ones.
He said he had ordered that any federal civil servant not captured in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the end of October 2019 should not be paid.
He said: "The 2020 appropriation being presented today is predicated in the following parameters: Benchmark Oil Price : $57 Production: 2.18m bpd FX: N305/$ Proposed Increase of VAT from 5% to 7.5%.”
Buhari stated that N2.46 trillion was proposed for capital projects in the budget.
The budget for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been increased from N1.5 billion to N2.5 billion to enable it to carry out its functions, he noted.