Budget: Buhari regime had N6.37tr fiscal deficit as of November -Finance Minister

Finance minister Zainab Ahmed disclosed that the President Muhammadu Buhari regime had spent N12.87 trillion of the N17.126 trillion budgeted for last year, as of November 30, 2022. This, she said, represented a fiscal deficit of N6.37 trillion.

Ahmed made this disclosure at the Public Presentation and Breakdown of the Approved Federal Government 2023 Budget on Wednesday in Abuja.

She said out of the N12.87 trillion, N5.24 trillion was for debt service and N3.94 trillion was for personnel costs.

“The actual spending as of November 30 was N12.87 trillion.

“Of this amount, N5.24 trillion was for debt service; N3.94 trillion for Personnel Costs, including pensions; Statutory Transfers, Overhead and Service Wide Votes expenditures totalled N1.81 trillion; and N1.88 billion was released for capital expenditure.”

Meanwhile, the minister said the fiscal deficit for 2022 was estimated at N8.17 trillion, inclusive of the supplementary budget.

“The deficit was totally financed by borrowings, mostly from domestic sources.”

President Buhari signed the 2023 Appropriation Bill of N21.83 trillion into law on Tuesday.

However, the National Assembly (NASS) passed the 2023 budget on December 28, 2022 after it was laid before a joint session of the NASS on October 7, 2022.

The main aim of the 2023 Appropriation Act was to maintain fiscal viability and ensure smooth transition to an incoming administration.

The Act is also known as “Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Transition.”

Meanwhile, the Finance Bill 2022 was also passed to reinforce the administration’s public financial management reforms.

The Act is expected to make key reforms on tax laws and others