The Federal Government will on Friday (today) publish the estimates in the 2022 Appropriation Bill laid before a joint session of the National Assembly by the President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, will do the unveiling of the details, which were conspicuously missing in the N16.39tn budget presentation speech delivered by the President.
The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, who made this known on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, monitored by our correspondent on Thursday night, also disclosed some details in the budget.
Akabueze, who confirmed that it is the biggest budget to ever be presented by the Federal Government, also said it was ‘way lower than it should be’.
He added, “The problem of Nigeria – I am talking about the government now – is not that we are spending too much money, it is that we are actually spending too little.”
He noted that there is a global measure called the Public Expenditure-GDP ratio.
He said for Nigeria, the ratio was still 12 per cent and the average for Africa was 22 per cent, while there were countries on the continent with over 30 per cent, with developed countries having up to 40 per cent.
Akabueze, while justifying the borrowing spree by the regime, noted that the average revenue-GDP in Africa was 20 per cent while Nigeria was between eight and nine per cent.
“Imagine if we did not now run a deficit budget and have to spend only the revenue, it means we spend maybe eight to nine per cent of our GDP. So, it should bridge that gap to get the ratio to a certain level – a minimum. That is why we need to borrow,” he said.
According to him, by International Monetary Fund standard, Nigeria needs at least 15 per cent revenue-GDP ratio to approach fiscal viability ‘and we are just barely 50 per cent of that’.