In the last seven years, the budget deficit in Nigeria has risen to at least N30.58 trillion.
This was revealed in the data released concerning the implementation reports for the third and fourth quarters of 2015; the four quarters of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020; the first three quarters of 2021; and the first four months of 2022. According to Investopedia, a budget deficit occurs when expenses exceed revenue. An analysis of the reports on the Budget Office of Nigeria’s website revealed that Buhari’s administration had spent at least N54.98tn on budget implementation since its inception but has only financed this spending with N24.39tn, leaving a deficit of N30.58tn. A breakdown of some of the expenses revealed that the present administration had spent at least N23.66tn on personnel costs, pensions, overhead costs, presidential amnesty programme, other service-wide votes, and special interventions. A minimum of N14.13tn has been spent servicing domestic and foreign debts, and at least N10.47tn has been spent on capital expenditure. According to the reports, this deficit financing has been largely financed by government borrowing. The budget implementation report for Q4, 2015 reads, “The FGN has arranged to raise short-term credit from the CBN through the mechanism of Ways and Means subject to a ceiling of 12.5 per cent of FGN’s revenue. “This amount will be retired and therefore not considered as new borrowing outside the borrowing approved to finance the budget deficit. However, due to current fiscal challenges, the CBN had agreed to increase the Ways and Means advances threshold hence the FGN’s ability to raise N615.96bn from this source.” Since allowance for raising the ceiling was made, total borrowing from the CBN has hit N19.01tn in April 2022 from N648.26bn as of June 2015. Also, the nation’s total debt profile hit N41.06tn as of March 2022 from N12.12tn, according to the Debt Management Office. A document titled ‘Public Consultation on the Draft 2023 – 2025 MTFF/FSP’ presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said, “Revenue generation remains the major fiscal constraint of the federation. The systemic resource mobilization problem has been compounded by recent economic recessions.”
This article was originally published on Naija News