By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Assembly (NASS) has promised to scrutinise and pass the 2022 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari at a joint legislative sitting today, Thursday, October 7, before the end of the year.
The Senate President, Mr Ahmed Lawan, gave this assurance while giving his opening speech at the budget laying ceremony by Mr Buhari.
He recalled how the 9th National Assembly promised to return Nigeria to a January-to-December budget cycle with the 2020 budget and made it possible, assuring the President and the lawmakers that the feat will be repeated with the 2021 budget.
He then thanked the President for working with the chambers to present the N16.39 trillion after an increase from N13.
He said the 2022 Appropriation Bill, therefore, is a budget of economic growth and sustainability, adding that it would help push the diversification of the economy, investment of critical infrastructure, strengthen security, reduce poverty, and solve disparities.
The 2022 budget is based on a conservative oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel; a daily oil production estimate of 1.88 million barrels (inclusive of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day); an exchange rate of $410.15; and a projected GDP growth rate of 4.2 per cent and 13 per cent inflation rate.
Based on these fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federally collectable revenue is estimated at N17.70 trillion in 2022.
Total federally distributable revenue is estimated at N12.72 trillion in 2022 while total revenue available to fund the 2022 federal budget is estimated at N10.13 trillion. This includes grants and aid of N63.38 billion as well as the revenues of 63 Government-Owned Enterprises.
Oil revenue is projected at N3.16 trillion, non-oil taxes are estimated at N2.13 trillion and FGN independent revenues are projected to be N1.82 trillion.
The President said that the proposed N16.39 trillion expenditure comprises statutory transfers of N768.28 billion; non-debt recurrent costs of N6.83 trillion; and personnel costs of N4.11 trillion.
Others include pensions, gratuities and retirees’ benefits of N577.0 billion; overheads of N792.39 billion; capital expenditure of N5.35 trillion, including the capital component of statutory transfers; debt service of N3.61 trillion; and sinking fund of N292.71 billion to retire certain maturing bonds.
Speaking on the fiscal balance, President Buhari said, “We expect the total fiscal operations of the federal government to result in a deficit of N6.26 trillion.”
This represents 3.39 per cent of the estimated GDP, which is above the 3 per cent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 as countries around the world have to out of necessity over-shoot their fiscal thresholds for the economies to survive and thrive.
President Buhari walked into the chamber at 12:05 pm and the event started immediately, with the national anthem and opening prayers in Christian and Islamic ways.
He had on Tuesday written to both the Senate and the House of Representatives to notify the chambers of his intention to present the federal government budget on Thursday.
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