Senators on Tuesday commenced debate on the general principles of the 2021 budget estimates, presented to the Joint session of the National Assembly last Thursday by the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd . ).
Senators from the ruling All Progressives Congress commended the Buhari regime for coming up with the N 10 . 08 trn fiscal document tagged , “ Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience ” .
But their Peoples Democratic Party counterparts described the budget as unrealistic for implementation .
The Senate Leader , Senator Yahaya Abdullahi , who started the debate , said the proposed budget deficit of N5 . 19 tn represented 3 . 64 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product , which was above the threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act , 2007 .
He said , “ Even though the deficit is covered by N 4 . 28 trn of new borrowing and funds obtainable from privatisation proceeds and multilateral and bilateral sources , it is important for our Committee on Finance to raise the matter for the National Assembly to permit this increase , as specified in the extant law, particularly given the special circumstances which made this necessary .
“ It is important to point out that issues of revenue shortfall and meeting unexpected emergencies can only be tackled either by borrowing, cutting expenditure , shrinking the economy , reducing government and social services, rationalisation, and job cut , among others . ”