Well-meaning Nigerians are beginning to ask the Federal Government pertinent questions – about its spending priorities and how the country will survive impending economic crises ranging from rising debt, inflation, falling naira and other fiscal issues.
The perception is that the federal government has borrowed for consumption, carrying out white elephant projects with inflated prices relative to appropriate investments in human capital development, education, health and infrastructure.
One of these less impactful projects is the renovation of the National Assembly. On Thursday, the federal government came under scrutiny after saying a whopping N21 billion was needed to complete the ongoing rehabilitation.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Musa Mohammad Bello said a total of N37 billion was earmarked in December 2019 for rehabilitation works by lawmakers but was later revised down to N9.25 billion. naira in the revised 2020 budget.
According to the minister, the contract amount for the rehabilitation works is N30.23 billion, of which N9.2 billion has been paid, and the remaining balance of N21.025 billion is to be paid to the contractors carrying out the works. .
The N37 billion renovation of the National Assembly complex endorsed by Muhammadu Buhari was a misplacement of priority and an day-to-day theft of national wealth, especially given the large number of Nigerians clamoring for a living better and other critical issues requiring financial attention.
Another ugly situation is the growing debt crisis. As of March 31, 2022, Nigeria owed 41.60 trillion naira or $100.07 billion representing the outstanding domestic and external debt of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Thirty-six State and Territory Governments of the federal capital.
In terms of inflation, Nigeria’s inflation rate recorded a seventh consecutive monthly rise to 18.6% in June, an increase of 0.9% from 17.71% in May 2022 .
According to the report, increases were recorded in all divisions of the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) that generated the overall index.
“On a monthly basis, the headline inflation rate rose to 1.82% in June 2022, 0.03% higher than the rate recorded in May 2022 (1.78%),” the report said.
“The percentage change in the average blended CPI for the 12 months ending June 2022 from the average CPI for the previous 12-month period is 16.54%, showing an increase of 0.62 % compared to 15.93% reported in June 2021.”
More worryingly, according to reports from the same Thursday, Nigeria’s fiscal situation deteriorated in the first four months of 2022 as the cost of debt repayment exceeded government revenue in the first quarter of 2022.
According to the details of the 2022 Financial Performance Report from January to April, Nigeria’s total revenue stood at 1.63 trillion naira while debt service stood at 1.94 trillion naira, showing a gap of over 300 billion naira.
Rita Joseph has suggested that the government cut the salaries of senior civil servants, saying none of them should earn more than 800,000 naira a year.
“Cut all unnecessary benefits, then send anyone caught embezzling to jail! In the meantime Say no to APC!”
According to Donchino Lawrence, “When you understand that Peter Obi did not borrow or take out a loan in 8 years of his governorship at Anambra, but was able to pay the arrears of pensions, salaries, gratuities and also made his transformation of the state, you will give him congratulations.
“The man did not owe a penny, changed his education and put the state on the right track. Always saved money for the next governor and administration.
“Nigeria desperately needs a savior now after being individually abused by successive governments. If Obi could do it in Anambra State, why not trust him to get us out of this mess? Vote for someone ‘one that will save your future.
Safaya Allan said Nigeria’s economic boat is capsizing. We have been impoverished. The debt is now more than the income and the same government (APC) is also planning for another 8 years. God arise and stop this set of criminals, stop Tinubu and all APC members in the 2023 general election in Nigeria.
“Nigeria ‘is living in extensions’ because of the many challenges it faces,” Muhammadu Sanusi II, ex-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said in February 2022.
Sanusi predicted that the country would face tougher times in 2023 and called on Nigerians to be ready to take tougher decisions for the country’s sake.
What is needed is the political will to cut spending and undertake reforms that could reduce the size of government, Sanusi said, suggesting a reduction in the cost of governance and an easing of the tax burden for the government.
Breakdown of the 2022 budget
Defense and Security received N2.41 trillion (15%), Infrastructure N1.45 trillion (8.9%), Nigeria Education Budget 2022 is N1.29 trillion (7.9%), Health N820 billion (5%), and Social Development and Poverty Eradication N863 billion (5.3%) of the total allocation.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari presented to the National Assembly the overall expenditure budget for 2022, which is expected to be N16.39 trillion, up 12.5% from the 2021 budget.
Recurrent expenditure for the projected year stands at N6.83 trillion, or 41.7% of total expenditure and 18.5% higher than the 2021 budget, according to a breakdown of the estimated budget of N16.39 trillion. .
It is estimated that 5.35 trillion naira will be spent on investment projects, accounting for 32.7% of total expenditure. Capital components of statutory transfers, GOE capital expenditures and project loan expenditures are all included in this provision.