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Buhari Accuses Senate, House Of Reps Of Padding 2023 Budget By N830 Billion Amid Debt Burden

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has accused the National Assembly of padding the 2023 Appropriation Bill with N770 billion and N58.55 billion amid the country’s N44.06 trillion public debt burden.

Buhari claimed that the Senate and House of Representatives both added new projects to the 2023 budget proposal for which it has appropriated N770.72 billion on Tuesday when he announced his assent to the bill.

He also stated that the National Assembly also increased the Ministry, Department, and Agency (MDA) provisions by N58.55 billion, pushing the addition to N830 billion.

The National Assembly’s recent changes to the budget have an unfunded deficit of N553.46 billion and additional revenues of N765.79 billion for Nigeria in 2023, respectively.

Buhari’s statement reads in part, “We have examined the changes made by the National Assembly to the 2023 Executive Budget proposal. The amended fiscal framework for 2023 as approved by the National Assembly shows additional revenues of N765.79 billion, and an unfunded deficit of N553.46 billion

It is clear that that National Assembly and the executive need to capture some of the proposed additional revenue sources in the fiscal framework. This must be rectified.

“I have also noted that the National Assembly introduced new projects into the 2023 budget proposal for which it has appropriated N770.72 billion. The National Assembly also increased the provisions made by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by N58.55 billion.”

Buhari said he has instructed his cabinet to consult with the lawmakers in order to review the changes.

He continued, “Nevertheless, considering the imminent transition process to another democratically elected government, I decided to sign the 2023 Appropriation Bill into law as passed by the National Assembly to enable its implementation to commence without delay.

“I have however directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to engage with the Legislature to revisit some of the changes made to the Executive budget proposal, and it is my hope that we will receive cooperation in this regard from the National Assembly.”

The President said he “signed into law the 2023 Appropriation Bill, the 8th & final annual budget of this Administration, along with the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill, principally to enable us respond to the havoc recent nationwide floods did to our infrastructure & agriculture sectors”.

Meanwhile, the country’s public debt rose to N44.06 trillion in the third quarter of 2022 as it continues with a repayment burden.

This was contained in a press statement published on the website of the Debt Management Office on Friday, the total public debt stock rose from N42.84 trillion recorded in the second quarter to N44.06 trillion in Q3, 2022.

This showed that there was a 2.85 per cent increase quarter-on-quarter and Nigeria acquired N1.22tn debt within three months.

The DMO said that the increase in public debt was due to new borrowings by the Federal Government to part-finance the deficit in the 2022 Appropriation Act, alongside new borrowings by sub-nationals.

It also noted that the total public debt stock consists of domestic debt of N26.92tn and external debt of N17.15 trillion.


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