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Nigeria’s federal government recorded a fiscal deficit of N405.28bn in August, according the economic report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to the report, the government’s aggregate expenditure was N781.61bn while retained revenue stood at N376.33bn, even as independent revenue fell by 52.2 per cent in August which led to a 10.4 per cent decline in government’s retained revenue from N420.2bn in July.

“The Federal Government recorded reductions in all its revenue components. Significant decline in independent revenue sources reflected lower remittances from ministries, departments, and agencies and government business interests,” the report said.

The apex bank noted, however, that statutory receipt from the federation account rose by 6.2 per cent to N299bn in August, significantly impacting the government’s retained revenue during the review period.

It said the aggregate expenditure fell by 18.8 per cent from N962.1bn recorded in July due to a reduction in overhead cost and low capital expenditure.

The report said, “Although recurrent expenditure shrunk by 18.3 per cent to N683.46bn following a 48.9 per cent decline in overhead cost, it maintained its dominance in total spending.

“Recurrent expenditure accounted for 87.4 per cent of total spending in August, while capital expenditure and transfers constituted 7.3 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively.”

The bank attributed the low allocation to capital expenditure to the lag in capital releases during the period.

The report added that the significant drop in aggregate expenditure outweighed the impact of low revenue outcome on the fiscal balance in August, which led to a 25.2 per cent decline in fiscal deficit, from N541.8bn in July to N405.3bn in August.

On trade performance, the CBN said that Nigeria recorded a higher trade deficit of $820m in August, when compared with $340m in July.

It said, “Aggregate export receipts decreased by 4.7 per cent to $4.24bn in the review period, compared with $4.45bn in the preceding period, owing to lower receipts from crude oil export.

“Merchandise import grew by 5.5 per cent to $5.06bn in August, from $4.80bn in the preceding month, reflecting increased domestic demand for both petroleum and non-oil-related products, occasioned by an uptick in domestic economic activities.”

The report said crude oil and gas exports declined by 5.4 per cent to $3.78bn from $3.bn in July, due to inventory build-up in the United States, reinforced by the resurgence of the COVID-19 infections.

Non-oil export earnings, however, grew to $460m in August from $450m in July

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