President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday present the 2023 budget estimates to the joint session of the National Assembly by 10 am. This is contained in a letter Buhari write to the President of Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan and read at plenary on Tuesday. Lawan said the venue for presentation of the 2023 budget estimates by Buhari would be at the temporary chamber of the House of Representatives. According to him, arrangements would be made to accommodate all the senators, adding that senators would proceed to the venue in procession . The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said the federal government was proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year. The minister who made this known at the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper interaction with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, however said she may not be able to make provision for treasury funded capital projects in the 2023 fiscal year.
Ahmed also said the budget deficit for the 2023 fiscal year may be between N11.30 trillion and N12.41 trillion, depending on the choice that would be made by the federal government on the issue of fuel subsidy payment. She stated that the federal government was projecting total revenue of N8.46 trillion, out of which N1.9 trillion was expected to come from oil-related sources while the balance would come from non-oil sources. Ahmed explained that the benchmark crude oil price was pegged at 70 dollars per barrel and at an exchange rate of N435.57 to a dollar, oil production was put at 1.69 million barrel per day, real Gross Domestic Product growth was projected at 3.7 per cent while inflation was put at 17.16 per cent in the MTEF.
She said petrol subsidy would remain up to mid-2023, based on the 18-month extension announced early 2021, in which case only N3.36 trillion would be provided for it in next financial year. The minister also pointed out that Nigeria has been able to consistently without defaulting, service her debt, adding that the country does not have any projections even in the near future, to fail in its debt obligation. Speaking further, Ahmed said although the amount currently used to service the country’s debt had overshot what was appropriated for in the budget, measures have been put in place to manage the situation. NAN