Finance Minister Rules Out Review of 2021 Budget Estimates over Recession

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*Assures civil servants of guaranteed salaries despite recession
*Hints of reopening closed border soon
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Wednesday ruled out plans to review the 2021 budget which has already been forwarded to the National Assembly in view of the economic recession.
Speaking to newsmen after the Federal Executie Council meeting, Ahmed who also allayed fears by civil servants that salaries may not be paid in view of the recession assured that some consequential adjustment in this year’s budget has taken of salary issues.
She assured that despite the fact that Nigeria will be going into recession, payment of salaries to workers are guaranteed.
She said, “On the issue of federal workers’ salaries, there’s no issue with federal workers’ salaries. We have paid salaries for November and we shall pay salaries for December. So, there’s no issue at all with federal workers’ salaries.
“If you hear about any issue, it is for agencies whose budget funding on the GIFMIS (Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System) system was exhausted and we are about to make an adjustment to them.
“When we were doing the 2020 budget, we made estimates of the consequential adjustment that is required as a result of the minimum wage and we had sent the budget before a decision and approval were taken on the consequential adjustment. So, it is anticipated that some agencies might run short and we made a block provision in the service-wide vote of the budget.
“So, when we have such a situation, what we simply do is remove the fund from the service-wide vote to the agency so that they pay from their budgets. So, there’s no problem of payment of salaries at all.”
The Minister also gave a hint of reopening the border stations as soon as possible.
The borders have been closed since August last year in what has received condemnation from many quarters.
She disclosed that the Presidential Committee which was set up on the matter has complted its assingment and recommended that the borders be reopened.
Ahmed said the the Committee would first submit the report before announcement for the reopening.


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