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Presidency defends increase in 2020 budget despite revenue drop

The presidency said on Sunday the Federal Government’s decision to increase the 2020 Budget despite the drop in revenue was aimed at mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Umar El-Yakub, who disclosed this to State House correspondents, said the government was looking to prioritise infrastructural projects that would reflate the economy.

The presidential aide expressed delight at the cordial relationship currently existing between the executive and legislative arms of government, saying the relationship was based on mutual understanding, respect and partnership in nation-building.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday signed the revised 2020 Budget at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The revised budget provides for aggregate expenditure of N10.81trn, which is an increase of N216bn over the initial expenditure proposed in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

READ ALSO: FEC approves revised 2020 budget based on oil price of $25 per barrel

El-Yakub said: “One needs to understand that the essence of the review is to prioritise government projects that will address infrastructure and ginger the economy more as well as address health issues.

“Because of the pandemic, investments are made in those regards and certainly you know that there are palliatives that had been initiated by the Federal Government in the phases of implementation.

“All those necessitated this new look at the budget so as to free certain amounts of money hitherto appropriated for certain projects which in the circumstances are not as expedient to prioritise.

“We looked at other infrastructure that needs prioritisation so as to address the pandemic and the difficulties that it has brought to the lives of Nigerians.”

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