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FG to sell govt properties to fund 2021 budget

By Abdulrahman Abdullahi

Nigeria government has planned to sell some of the country’s properties to fund 2021 budget.
The finance minister confirmed the decision to sell some government properties in a document submitted to lawmakers.
Apart from its plan to engage in domestic and foreign borrowings to fund the 2021 budget, the federal government has confirmed that it will also sell some government-owned properties for the same purpose.
The government also said it will sell some non-oil assets to serve as additional source of finance for the year’s budget.
This is contained in the presentation made in Abuja by the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, to stakeholders about the signed 2021 budget.
The presentation, titled, ‘Public Presentation of 2021 FGN Approved Budget – Breakdown and Highlights’ was dated January 12.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on December 31, 2020, signed the N13.58 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year – about N505 billion higher than the budget proposed in October, 2020.
In the approved budget, about N496.5 billion was approved for statutory transfers and N3.3 trillion was approved for debt services.
The recurrent expenditure was put at N5.6 trillion with capital expenditure at N4.1 trillion and fiscal deficit at N5.2 trillion (5,196,007,992,292).
Already, many have condemned the federal government’s consistent resolve to borrow to fund budgets annually. For this year, the government is to borrow N5.6 trillion from domestic and foreign resources. The amount being the total deficit for the 2021 budget.
This represents 3.93 per cent of the GDP.
This paper had reported how the deficit will be financed, according to the ministry of finance.
Both the president and Ms Zainab had said Nigeria will borrow money from the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and countries like Brazil to fund the budget.
Furthermore, the government decided that in addition to borrowing of money, another means by which the government intends to fund the budget is by selling and concessioning government-owned properties and non-oil assets.
“Sales of government property” and “non-oil asset sales” were listed under the “additional financing” section of the document. This section shows an overview of how the deficit will be financed.
Although the document did not state the companies that have been put up for sale, neither did it state the expected revenue from the sales, this confirms earlier speculations of the government’s plan to sell off some properties.
In November 2020, the Senate committee on privatisation said it was not aware of the government’s plan to sell or concession some national properties through the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE). This was during the agency’s 2021 budget defence session.

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