President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) to intensify their revenue mobilisation efforts and ensure that all taxable organisations and individuals pay taxes in order to achieve revenue targets for the 2023 budget.
The President made the charge after signing into law, the 2023 Appropriation Bill; the last budget of his administration totalling N21.83 trillion, which is an increase of N1.32 trillion over the initial Executive Proposal for a total expenditure of N20.51 trillion.
According to him, to achieve the laudable objectives of the 2023 Budget, relevant Agencies must sustain current efforts towards the realisation of crude oil production and export targets.
Buhari directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to work towards the early release of the 2023 capital votes to enable MDAs commence the implementation of their capital projects in good time to support efforts to deliver key projects and public services as well as improve the living conditions of Nigerians.
”To augment available fiscal resources, MDAs are to accelerate the implementation of Public Private Partnership initiatives, especially those designed to fast-track the pace of our infrastructural development”, he said.
The President further explained that the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act would enable the administration to respond to the havoc caused by the recent nationwide floods in the infrastructure and agriculture sectors.
He added that the Minister of Finance will subsequently provide more details of the approved budget and the supporting 2022 Finance Act.
”We have examined the changes made by the National Assembly to the 2023 Executive Budget proposal. The amended fiscal framework for 2023 as approved by the National Assembly shows additional revenues of N765.79 billion and an unfunded deficit of N553.46 billion.
”It is clear that the National Assembly and the executive need to capture some of the proposed additional revenue sources in the fiscal framework. This must be rectified.
“I have also noted that the National Assembly introduced new projects into the 2023 budget proposal for which it has appropriated N770.72 billion. The National Assembly also increased the provisions made by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by N58.55 billion”.
Detailing his decision to sign the 2023 Appropriation Bill into law as passed by the National Assembly, Buhari claimed it was to enable its implementation to commence without delay, considering the imminent transition process to another democratically elected government.
The President, however, directed the Minister of Finance to engage with the Legislature to revisit some of the changes made to the Executive budget proposal, expressing the hope that the National Assembly will cooperate with the Executive arm of Government in this regard.
He also urged the National Assembly to reconsider its position on his proposal to securitise the Federal Government’s outstanding Ways and Means of balance at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
”As I stated, the balance has accumulated over several years and represents funding provided by the CBN as lender of last resort to the government to enable it to meet obligations to lenders, as well as cover budgetary shortfalls in projected revenues and/or borrowings,” he said.
”I have no intention to fetter the right of the National Assembly to interrogate the composition of this balance, which can still be done even after granting the requested approval.”
”Failure to grant the securitization approval will however cost the government about N1.8 trillion in additional interest in 2023 given the differential between the applicable interest rates which is currently MPR plus 3% and the negotiated interest rate of 9% and a 40year repayment period on the securitised debt of the Ways and Means”, he said.
Reiterating that the 2023 Budget was developed to promote fiscal sustainability, and macroeconomic stability and ensure a smooth transition to the incoming Administration, the President said that it was also designed to promote social inclusion and strengthen the resilience of the economy.
“As this Administration draws to a close, we will accelerate the implementation of critical measures aimed at further improving the Nigerian business environment, enhancing the welfare of our people and ensuring sustainable economic growth over the medium- to long-term”, he said.
Buhari also revealed that adequate provisions have been made in the Budget for the successful conduct of the forthcoming general elections and the transition programme.