President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ,before a joint session of the National Assembly ,unveiled a record N16.39 trillion “Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability” for 2022,with a projected 25 percent year-on-year rise in government spending as the economy struggles with the impact of the pandemic.

The President, decked in a white agbada, said he expects the total fiscal operations of the Federal Government to result in a deficit of N6.26 trillion, representing 3.39 percent of estimated GDP, slightly above the three per cent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

The President further put the total federally distributable revenue at N12.72 trillion, while total revenue available to fund the budget is estimated at N10.13 trillion ,which includes grants and aid of N63.38 billion, as well as revenues of 3 Government-Owned Enterprises(GOE).

He also projected oil revenue at N3.16 trillion, on-oil taxes at N2.13 trillion and FGN independent revenues to be N1.82 trillion.

The President, who did not indicate the sectoral allocations of the budgetary estimates in a bid to abide by the COVID-19 protocols, acknowledged concerns from well-meaning Nigerians over the resort to borrowing to finance deficit gaps.

He expressed the plan to finance the N6.26 trillion deficit mainly by new borrowings totalling N5.01 trillion, N90.73 billion from Privatisation Proceeds and N1.16 trillion drawdowns on loans secured for specific development projects.

by Tejiri Napoleon