• en

Nigeria May Increase 2024 Budget If Revenue Improves Next Year, Says Finance Minister Edun

He told lawmakers that there has been tremendous improvement in the country’s revenue profile in recent months.

Nigeria’s federal government, on Monday, hinted that it might consider returning to the National Assembly to seek the lawmakers’ approval for a supplementary budget next year if the government surpassed its revenue projections.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s N27.5 trillion 2024 appropriation bill is currently being considered by the federal legislature.

Addressing a joint sitting of the National Assembly Committee on Finance, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, told the lawmakers that there had been a tremendous improvement in the country’s revenue profile in recent months.

Edun said if the revenue continued to increase, the federal government might return to the National Assembly to seek further appropriation for the additional revenue.

The minister said, “The revenue performance was encouraging, here we see that the revenue profile is encouraging.

“It is expected that it will continue to be encouraging. There is a fiscal policy and tax reform committee which is already at work.

“It is meant to provide fundamental changes together with digitalization and greater efficiency in collection because it is revenue to debt that can give us the opportunity to even increase this budget.

“If we have a solid revenue performance, we will be coming back, and I am sure Mr. President will authorize the process to return to the National Assembly to appropriate extra revenue. That is a situation we are all looking forward to.”

Edun said the federal government was already looking at how to speed up the procurement process in order to increase capital spending in the 2024 budget.

He said, “When we look at the actual budget performance, expenditure as of the third quarter of the year, which is September, was 32 per cent below the budget estimate.

“Revenue was five per cent up, the revenue performance is quite encouraging because of a change in exchange rate, a depreciation of the currency and the fact we have foreign debt of about $46 billion outstanding.

“This means that debt service was up by 18 per cent, capital expenditure performed below budget quite significantly.

“We are looking at the issue of procurement process and ways to speed up capital spending.

“In terms of overall balance of the budget, the fiscal deficit is expected to come down from N13.7 trillion to N9.2 trillion.

“Importantly, the deficit, the amount of the budget to be funded by borrowing, is down from 6.1 per cent to 3.9 per cent. That is, the percent of GDP and Capital expenditure remains at 32 per cent, so that is the whole structure of the budget.

“In the meantime, the efforts in tax side, to tax revenue as a percentage of GDP from its relatively low figure of under 10 per cent, is doubling now within two or three years to 18 per cent.”

Chairman of the Joint National Assembly Committee on Finance, Senator Sani Musa, said Nigeria was currently in a delicate situation, economically.

Musa, however, said the Tinubu administration was doing everything possible to change the narrative.

Musa said, “Nigeria today has found itself in a delicate situation, the high rate of unemployment and you know this is transition period.

“It is a new government, so we must give Nigerians the right budget. What is the right budget? We must look at our revenue projections, we must look at our performances, and then look at what we are committing to by the time this budget is passed.

“We want to make sure that before we even pass the budget we have really checked it, where to dot and cross it, we do it and at the end of the day, we will have a budget that is at least what is expected to do.

“We need a budget that will renew the hope of this country and that is why Mr President tagged it the renewed Hope Budget.”

Sunday Aborisade

Follow us on: