Nigeria not broke, budget to be passed before end of the year – Budget Office

The Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, has denied he ever said Nigeria was broke to pay salaries and assured Nigerians that the 2021 budget will be passed before the end of the year.

He made the clarification during an interview on Channels TV on Thursday.

Mr Akabueze revealed that the Budget Defence of various Ministries is going well so far, as issues are getting resolved.

“It is going reasonably well, there is a commitment on both sides to get this done, and when issues arise, for those issues to be sorted out promptly.

“So, we believe that we are on course to have the budget passed before the end of the year.”

On his earlier alleged statement on inability of Nigeria to pay salaries, he said he never claimed Nigeria is broke and his words were taken out of context.

“I was shocked at the reportage of that, especially in the print media yesterday. In fact, one had a blazing headline ‘we are broke’, I never said anything like that.

“Basically, what it is, is that at the time we were preparing the 2020 budget, the negotiations for the minimum wage were ongoing and being finalized. So, the 2020 personnel budget for MDAs was based on the old salary structure,” Akabueze said.

He added the FG has control of the situation and the MDAs would be assisted for salaries till the end of the year.

Earlier this week, the DG was quoted by Nigerian media for expressing worry that 428 MDAs will not be able to pay November salaries.

The Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, said Nigeria may fall into recession by next quarter, due to the effects of the pandemic on the economy and global crude oil demand.