Experts raise concerns over FG’s plan to fund deficit from privatization
Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria's Finance Minister

Deficit spending of Nigeria’s federal government rose rapidly to N3.09 trillion in the first quarter of 2022, according to the 2022 fiscal performance report for the first quarter of the year.

The government on Thursday released the performance report which showed that the pro rata spending target for the first quarter of the year was N5.77 trillion, while the actual spending as of April 31 was N4.72 trillion.

On the other hand, as of April 2022, FGN’s retained revenue was only N1.63 trillion, 49% of the pro rata target of N3.32 trillion, putting the deficit between actual spending and revenues at N3.09 trillion, implying that the government likely borrowed to cover the deficit.

A breakdown of the actual spending showed that N1.94 trillion was for debt service, N1.26 trillion for personnel costs, including pensions, and as at April, N773.63 billion had been spent on capital expenditure.

The government’s 2022 budget was projected to be N17.32 trillion, 18 per cent higher than the 2021 budget. Recurrent (non-debt) spending is estimated to amount to N6.91 trillion, which is 40 percent of total expenditure, and 20 percent higher than the 2021 Budget.

Aggregate capital expenditure of N5.96 trillion is 35 per cent of total expenditure, inclusive of the capital component of Statutory Transfers, GOEs (Government-Owned Enterprises capital), and project-tied loans expenditures. At N3.61trillion, debt service is 21 per cent of total expenditure, and 34 percent of total revenues.


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