Buhari to Present N19.76trn 2023 Budget Friday

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By Adedapo Adesanya

President Muhammadu Buhari will, on Friday, October 7, present Nigeria’s 2023 budget of N19.76 trillion to the National Assembly in Abuja.

The presentation will take place at 10 am at the temporary chamber of the House of Representatives. He will expect the appropriation bill to be passed before the end of the year for signing ahead of the next fiscal year.

The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, had said the President will present the 2023 appropriation to the National Assembly in September.

He had said the 2023 budget was prepared in tandem with extant federal government policies and guidelines as articulated in the 2023 Budget Call Circular and other relevant laws and regulations.

Mr Buhari in December 2021, signed the 2022 Appropriation Bill into law with an aggregate expenditure of N17.127 trillion, an increase of N735.85 billion over the initial executive proposal for a total expenditure of N16.391 trillion.

Last month, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said that the proposed 2023 budget is embedded with an N12.43 trillion deficit.

She said this in an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Finance and heads of revenue-generating agencies in Abuja.

According to her, the N12.43 trillion deficit is a result of the projected N6 trillion tax and import duty waivers as well as fuel subsidy of over N6 trillion that was retained for the year.

However, in his response, Mr Olamilekan Adeola, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, suggested that the N12.43 trillion deficit be reviewed downwards before the budget is sent to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

He said, “The proposed N12.43 trillion deficit for the 2023 budget and N6 trillion waivers are very disturbing and must be critically reviewed. Many of the beneficiaries of the waivers are not ploughing accrued gains made into expected projects as far as infrastructural developments are concerned.

“The same goes for the tax credit window offered by FIRS to some companies. Billions and trillions of naira can be generated by the government as revenue if such windows are closed against beneficiaries abusing them and invariably provide required money for budget funding with fewer deficits cum borrowings.”

“The Nigeria Customs Service should help in this direction by critically reviewing waivers being granted on import duties for some importers, just as the FIRS should also review the tax credit window offered to some companies without corresponding corporate social services to Nigerians in terms of expected project executions like road construction.”

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