..Ndume kicks against more borrowing
By Emmanuel Elebeke
THE Federal Government has proposed N292.7 billion to retire maturing bonds to local contractors/suppliers of government. This represents 1.79 percent of total expenditure.
Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed made this disclosure at her 2022 budget breakdown in Abuja.
She said the move is aimed at settling government’s obligations to contractors and suppliers in line with the FGN’s commitment to offset accumulated arrears of contractual obligations dating back over a decade.
The Minister also said the federal government has proposed to spend N3.61trillion on debt servicing in the coming years which is 22 percent of total expenditure, and 35.6 percent of total revenues.
She, however, added that the early passage of the 2022 Budget for implementation from January 1 “will significantly contribute towards achieving government macro-fiscal and sectoral objectives. The minister noted that revenue currently remains our main fiscal challenge.
To this end, she said government has kicked off efforts aimed at addressing revenue leakages which include concluding the service-wide implementation of IPPIS; dimensioning cost of tax waivers and promoting policy dialogue and transparency around tax waiver regimes, elimination of regressive subsidies on petrol price and electricity tariffs, as well as cost-to-income-ratio cap for government -owned enterprises to improve remittances to FGN’s coffers.
The Finance Minister revealed that as of August 2021, the federal government had “surpassed all collections for FGN independent revenues from 2017 to date. This reflects the performance of our revenue growth initiatives for this revenue stream.”
At this current run rate, Ahmed expressed optimism that government is “now firmly positioned to surpass the 1 trillion mark collection for independent revenues.’
..Ndume kicks against more borrowing
By Henry Umoru, Abuja
FORMER Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, All Progressives Congress, APC, Borno South, has taken a swipe at moves by the Federal Government to finance the 2022 budget by borrowing more, saying it is worrisome. He also urged government to cut down personal and recurrent costs.
Ndume further asked the Presidential Economic Advisory Committee and finance experts to be actively involved in debt management and re-evaluation of Nigeria’s debt profile.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Ndume who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on Army asked President Buhari to pay more attention to the effective, transparent, and accountable implementation of the budget by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs. He also called on the National Assembly to be more active in the discharge of its oversight functions to ensure effective implementation of the budget.
The lawmaker also hailed President Buhari for prioritizing defence and security, infrastructure, education, Mhealth, poverty eradication and social development in the 2022 Budget proposal.
According to him, the prioritization of spending on defence and security, infrastructure and education by President Buhari with the sectors getting a combined N5.15 trillion allocation in the Budget proposal is a welcome development.
He said the 2022 budget estimate when passed and effectively implemented can accelerate the recovery of the nation’s economy and attain more inclusive GDP growth that would lift millions of our citizens out of poverty.
He said that in the proposal, the estimated budget for recurrent expenditure for the projected year which is N6.83 trillion, representing 41.7% of total expenditure which is 18.5% higher than the 2021 budget is still on the high side.
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