Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

The Federal Government has disclosed that it has earmarked over N9 billion  for  agriculture and rural development in the 2020 budget, stating that the implementation of  the budget would commence on January 1, 2020.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, explained that the overall deficit is N2.175 trillion for 2020. This, she said, represents 1.5 52 per cent of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which is within the threshold stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).

She also noted that the deficit is to be financed mainly by borrowings from domestic sources, N744.99 billion; foreign sources, N850 billion and multilateral/bilateral loan drawdowns, N328.13 billion.

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Giving a breakdown of the 2020 budget in Abuja, Mrs. Ahmed explained that the N9 billion for agriculture  would boost the promotion and development of the sector  in more than 30 different commodities.

These include N1.6 billion for National Grazing Reserve Development; N3 billion for veterinary and pest control services; N7.64 billion for rural roads and water sanitation, and N1.02 billion Federal Government support for women and  youths in agribusiness, among others. On the revenue side, the minister noted that the aggregate revenue available to fund the 2020 budget is projected at N8.42 trillion (3.2 per cent or N263.94 billion more than the executive proposal and 10.9 per cent more than 2019 budget of N7.59 trillion).

According to the minister, with the timely preparation and passage of the budget, which will restore the normal cycle, the implementation of budget will commence on January 1. The minister stated that the N10.594 trillion budget with N4.493 trillion recurrent and N2.465 trillion for capital expenditure has a N8.42 trillion revenue target broken down as N2.64 trillion oil revenue, N1.81 trillion non-oil, and N3.97 trillion from other sources.

She said the projected N8.42 trillion revenue is 3.2 per cent or N263.94 billion over the executive proposal, and 10.9 per cent more than  the 2019 budget of N7.59 trillion.