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President Muhammadu Buari Friday presented the 2023 Appropriation Bill at the Joint seating of the Natrional Assembly, Abuja.
Addressing the lawmakers, the President, who described the 2023 appropriation as a budget of “fiscal sustainability and transition”, said the budget “reflects the serious challenges currently facing our country, key reforms necessary to address them, and imperatives to achieve higher, more inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth.”
He said: “A total expenditure of N20.51 trillion is proposed for the Federal Government in 2023. This includes N2.42 trillion spending by Government-Owned Enterprises.
“The proposed N20.51 trillion 2023 expenditure comprises Statutory Transfers of N744.11 billion; Non-debt Recurrent Costs of N8.27 trillion; Personnel Costs of N4.99 trillion; Pensions, Gratuities and Retirees’ Benefits of N854.8 billion; Overheads of N1.11 trillion; Capital Expenditure of N5.35 trillion, including the capital component of Statutory Transfers; Debt Service of N6.31 trillion; and Sinking Fund of N247.73 billion to retire certain maturing bonds.
“We expect total fiscal operations of the Federal Government to result in a deficit of N10.78 trillion. This represents 4.78 percent of estimated GDP, above the 3 percent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
“As envisaged by the law, we need to exceed this threshold considering the need to continue to tackle the existential security challenges facing the country.
“We plan to finance the deficit mainly by new borrowings totalling N8.80 trillion, N206.18 billion from privatisation proceeds, and N1.77 trillion drawdowns on bilateral/multilateral loans secured for specific development projects/programmes.
“Over time, we have resorted to borrowing to finance our fiscal gaps. We have been using loans to finance critical development projects and programmes aimed at further improving our economic environment and enhance the delivery of public services to our people.
“As you are aware, we have witnessed two economic recessions within the period of this Administration. A direct result of this is the significant decline in our revenue-generating capacity.
“In both cases, we had to spend our way out of recession, resulting in higher public debt and debt service. It is unlikely that our recovery from each of the two recessions would have been as fast without the sustained government expenditure funded by debt,” President Buhari stated.