Buhari presents N16.39 trillion for 2022 Appropriation Bill…FG to borrow additional N5.01 trillion to fund budget….SERAP vows to stop borrowing

President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday presented N16.39 trillion for 2022 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.

Describing the appropriation bill as Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability, he said the Capital expenditure will take N5.35 trillion and debt service N3.61 trillion.

While he gave N10.13. trillion as total revenue, he disclosed that the total recurrent expenditure will be N6.83 trillion out of which personnel cost will consume N4.11 trillion.

Oil revenue will be a third of it as it is estimated at N3.16T. Non oil taxes will be N2.13T and Federal Government revenue from its MDAs will be N1.82T.

President Buhari said the oil benchmark for 2022 has been put at $57 and daily production at 1.88 million barrels, including condensates.

He, however, allayed fears of many Nigerians, especially the critics, over his administration’s proposal to borrow to finance 2022 Budget,. saying the loans were within what Nigeria could afford.

He maintained that the crisis the nation faces is ‘revenue challenge.

He also disclosed that his government will borrow an additional N5.01 trillion in 2022 to be able to implement the budget.

He said: “Some have expressed concern over our resort to borrowing to finance our fiscal gaps. They are right to be concerned. However, we believe that the debt level of the Federal Government is still within sustainable limits. Borrowings are to specific strategic projects and can be verified publicly.

“As you are aware, we have witnessed two economic recessions within the period of this Administration. In both cases, we had to spend our way out of recession, which necessitated a resort to growing the public debt. It is unlikely that our recovery from each of the two recessions would have grown as fast without the sustained government expenditure funded by debt.

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“Our target over the medium term is to grow our Revenue-to-GDP ratio from about 8 percent currently to 15 percent by 2025. At that level of revenues, the Debt-Service-to-Revenue ratio will cease to be worrying. Put simply, we do not have a debt sustainability problem, but a revenue challenge which we are determined to tackle to ensure our debts remain sustainable.

“Very importantly, we have endeavoured to use the loans to finance critical development projects and programmes aimed at improving our economic environment and ensuring effective delivery of public services to our people”.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has vowed to stop the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government from adminstration borrowing to fund the 2022 budget.

In its official Twitter handle on Thursday, SERAP insisted that it would not accommodate Buhari’s decision to fund the 2022 budget with borrowed funds.

“We’ll fight to push the administration to stop this indiscriminate borrowing, end corruption and cut the cost of governance,” SERAP tweeted.

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