For his presentation of the 2020 appropriations bill, President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived at the House of Representatives Chambers where the presentation is expected to be made.
Present at the presentation ceremony includes: the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, federal lawmakers, state governors, members of the Federal Executive Council and leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, among others.
Buhari arrived exactly 2:03pm while the Senate President Mohammed Lawan called on Senator AbdulFatahi Buhari to offer opening prayer.
Following the prayers, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his opening address revealed that the National Assembly will the work on the 2020 appropriation bill in order for the country to return to a January-December budget cycle.
He also urged the the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government to be fast in showing up before the NASS committees for the defence of their budget proposals as contained in the bill, adding that the lawmakers planned to pass the budget in December 2019.
In his presentation, Buhari said his government has significantly reduced inflation.
He added that the capital inflow into Nigeria by end of first quarter of 2019 stands at $14 billion as against $12 billion within the same period in 2018.
Furthermore, he revealed that VAT collections fall below expectations due to low activities. Buhari noted that corporate tax were also affected leading to low revenue collections in 2019 fiscal year.
The President said the 2020 budget will be based on 7.5 percent VAT increase, with states will take the lion share of VAT collection.
He revealed that more products would benefit from VAT exemption. Buhari listed the products to include bread: cereals of all kind, fish, meat, starch, root crops, poultry, milk, natural water, table water.
He commended the lawmakers for their cooperation in agreeing to the January-December time-line.