Buhari to present 2023 budget to NASS Friday 

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President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2023 Appropriations bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.

The Appropriations bill will contain budget proposals for the 2023 fiscal year.

He made this known in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, which was read out at the start of plenary on Tuesday.

The formal budget presentation is scheduled for 10 a.m.

It will be the last main budget Mr Buhari will be present because he will leave office on 29 May 2023 when his second four year term will end.

The federal government is already proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year with a budget deficit of about N12.41 trillion.

Some key assumptions in the proposal include an estimated oil benchmark of $70, crude oil production put at 1.69mbpd, exchange rate of N435.57/$ and inflation rate at 17.16 per cent.

The federal government pegged growth rate at 3.75 per cent because it believes that “Growth is expected to be moderated to 3.30% in 2024 before picking up to 3.46% in 2025.”

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had disclosed that the federal government will borrow over N11 trillion and sell national assets to finance the budget deficit in 2023.

The budget deficit, she said, will exceed N12.42 trillion, should it keep the petroleum subsidy for the entire 2023 fiscal cycle.

She proposed two options for the lawmakers to consider for the 2023 budget.

First, the deficit is projected to be N12.41 trillion in 2023, up from N7.35 trillion budgeted in 2022, representing 196 per cent of total revenue or 5.50 per cent of the estimated GDP. In this option, she said, the government would spend N6.72 trillion.

The second option, she explained, involves keeping subsidy till June 2023 and this scenario will take the deficit to N11.30 trillion, which is 5.01 per cent of the estimated GDP. In this option, the PMS subsidy is projected to gulp N3.3 trillion.

The federal government already plans to spend N18.6 billion daily on PMS. The two proposals have budget deficits far above the stipulated threshold in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Abeeb Atanda

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