The federal government, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) latest report, recorded an estimated fiscal deficit of N1.48tn in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The CBN, in its economic report for the fourth quarter on country’s operations, released on Tuesday, March 16 noted that the federally collected revenue in the fourth quarter fell below expectation.
The report read in part: “At N2.2tn, federally collected revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 fell by below the budget benchmark and the level in the preceding quarter respectively and was also 16.8 per cent below the collections in the corresponding period of 2019.
“Oil receipts accounted for 44.6 per cent of the total collection, while non-oil constituted the balance of 55.4 per cent.
“The relatively low receipts recorded in the review period underscored the lingering effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and global economic activities.
“Similarly, the retained revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria at N903.52bn, fell by 38.1 per cent and 39 per cent below 13.1 percent and 8.3 per cent its quarterly benchmark and collections in the fourth quarter of 2019 respectively.
“Also, the provisional aggregate expenditure of the FGN declined from N2.54tn in the third quarter of 2020 to N2.38tn in the review period, reflecting decreases in government spending, in the light of the current revenue challenge. Consequently, the fiscal operations of the FGN resulted in an estimated deficit of N1.48tn.”
The report explained further that shortfalls in oil receipts, due to the subsisting OPEC+ agreed oil production cut and decline in global crude oil demand, following the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and the Americas, led to the decline in federally collected revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020.
According to it, ederally collected revenue amounted to N2.2tn, with oil and non-oil revenue sources contributing 44.6 per cent and 55.4 per cent respectively.
The central bank noted that the collection was 13.1 percent, 8.3 percent and 16.8 per cent below the budget benchmark, and the levels in the third quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2019 respectively.
Of the total receipts N2.2tn, the sum of N756.86bn was deducted as statutory and non-federation transfers, leaving a net balance of N1.45tn.
It stated that an additional revenue of N264.80bn was realised from excess oil revenue, non-oil excess revenue, and exchange gain, bringing the total distributable balance to N1.72tn.
The banking regulator’s also stated that N1.71tn was disbursed among the three tiers of government. The disbursement was 13.1 per cent lower than that of the corresponding period of 2019 and 7.9 percent below the quarterly benchmark.