The federal government has disclosed its readiness to borrow about N4.89tn from internal and external sources to finance the deficit in its proposed 2022 budget of N13.98trn due to dwindling revenue.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, noted that in Abuja on Monday at an interactive session organised by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
Ahmed explained that perception of the naira as being over valued over despite recent the adjustment by the Central Bank of Nigeria has compounded Nigeria’s risk aversion in the global capital market, which she said would further put pressure on the foreign exchange market, stressing that foreign portfolio investors have yet to return to the Nigerian market.
According to her, the government plans to borrow to fund the N5.62tn deficits in 2022, it will reduce capital expenditure by N259.315bn, as the reduction would become necessary due to economic volatility occasioned by unstable global oil market as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister added that for capital expenditure next year, ministries, departments and agencies would get N1.76tn as opposed to the N2.02tn spent in 2021.
On the exchange rate, she explained the it has been pegged at N410.15 to a dollar per dollar and oil benchmark at $57 per barrel.
According to her, “The budget deficit and the financing items for the expenditure projected for 2022 is N5.62tn, up from N5.60tn in 2021.
“The deficit is going to be financed by new foreign and domestic borrowings, both domestic and foreign, in the sum of N4.89tn, then privatisation proceeds of N90.73bn and drawdowns from project titles of N635bn.
“This amount represents 3.05 per cent of the estimated GDP, which is slightly above the 3 per cent threshold that is spent recommended in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The revenue that we expect is N6.54tn, N2.62tn to accrue to the Federation Account and VAT, respectively.”