Nigerian government spent N118.37 billion on coronavirus in 2020 – Buhari Minister.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Tuesday disclosed that out of N8.26 trillion spent on capital projects, debt servicing and payment of salaries and pensions in 2020, N118.37 billion went into COVID-19-related capital spend.

Speaking at a virtual public presentation of the approved 2021 budget, the Minister said N1.8 trillion was expended on capital projects, N3.27 trillion on debt servicing and N3.19 trillion for payment of salaries and pensions.

In the capital expenditure, Ahmed noted that the figure represents about 89 per cent of the provision made for capital projects.

She explained that out of the N1.8 trillion ploughed into capital projects, N118.37 billion went into COVID-19 related capital spend.

She added that while the Federal Government projected N9.97 trillion expenditure for 2020, it actually spent about N10.08 trillion, representing 101 per cent performance.

To finance the deficit in the 2021 budget, the Minister said that N709.69 billion would be raked from multilateral/bi-lateral loans drawdown, which would be added to the funds expected to be raised from borrowing and sale of public assets.

Ahmed also revealed that the Federal Government generated N3.94 trillion in the 2020 fiscal year, adding that the figure represents about 73 per cent of the target for the 2020 fiscal period.

This implies that out of the projected revenue target of N5.39 trillion for 2020, the government could only achieve N3.94 trillion, thus leaving a revenue shortfall of N1.45 trillion.

The minister said while oil revenue outperformed its target, the non-oil revenue performance was not too impressive.

According to the minister, the Federal Government earned N1.52 trillion from oil revenue representing an over performance of 157 per cent, while non oil tax revenue was N1.28 trillion, which was about 79 per cent of target.

She added that Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections were N673.22 billion and N192.66 billion, representing 82 per cent and 68 per cent respectively of the pro-rata revised targets for the period.

Ahmed put the Customs revenue at N410.21 billion which is about 79 per cent of revenue performance, adding that other revenues also contributed N993.73 billion to revenue generation.

The Minister blamed the revenue underperformance on the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that Customs revenue was affected by trade slowdown caused by COVID-19.