by Linda Ikeji
Ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been directed not to make plans for new projects in 2021 by the federal government.
The directive which was conveyed in a 2021 Budget Call Circular issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, came ahead of the preparation of next year’s budget estimates.
Nigerian Tribune reported that the circular signed by the minister of finance Zainab Ahmed, read;
“The thrust of the FGN’s capital expenditure programme in 2021 will be the completion of as many ongoing projects as possible, rather than starting new projects. Thus, MDAs are hereby advised that new projects will not be admitted into the capital budget for 2021 unless adequate provision has been made for the completion of all.”
The circular which disclosed that there will be no personnel budget for MDAs that are yet to be on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), also warned against inclusion of recurrent expenditure, vehicle and furniture allowance. It is also expected that there will be restriction on personnel travelling and training in the coming year.
“It is expected that all MDAS have now complied with Presidential directive to enrol on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS). MDAS not vet on IPPIS will not be provided for in the personnel budget for 2021.
“MDAs are enjoined to restrict their travels, training and capacity development programmes to locations within the country and as close to their office locations as possible. Foreign travels and training should be limited to exceptional cases, and with necessary approvals in accordance with extant government policy.
“Thus, all MDAs are required to work within their 2020 overhead ceilings for the purpose of preparing their 2021 Overhead budget submissions.
“Except where absolutely critical to the functioning of respective MDAs, proposals such as expenditure on vehicles, furnishing, construction/purchase of office or residential buildings and equipping of non-critical offices will not be accommodated in the 2021 budget.
“The Budget Office shall reallocate any such provisions to capital projects within/outside the MDA as it deems appropriate.”
Stimulation of the economy to prevent business collapse and ensuring liquidity, job creation, undertaking growth-enhancing and job-creating infrastructural investments in roads, bridges, solar power, and communications technologies; promoting manufacturing and local production at all levels and advocate the use of Made-in-Nigeria goods and services; and extending protection to the poor and other vulnerable groups, including women and persons living with disabilities, through pro-poor spending, were listed as some of the federal government’s priorities in 2021.
It was further gathered that prominence would be accorded to human capital development, specifically health, education and social inclusion in resource allocation.
The circular added;
“ MDAs should take into consideration the 2023 Medium Term policies/strategies contained in the 2021 Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) which is the FGN’s pre-budget statement.
“The budget shall be prepared using the Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) approach and in line with the government’s policy thrust, as articulated in the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).”