expresses its concern at the worrying changes made to the 2022 budget by the NASS; To submit an amendment bill in early 2022.
True to the tradition of restoring a predictable fiscal year from January to December, as provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja enacted the 2022 Finance Bill and the Finance Bill. 2021.
The president signed the documents in the presidential villa in the presence of Senate Speaker Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, and other members of the Federal Executive Council.
Speaking at the event, the president said that the newly enacted budget for 2022 projects overall spending of N17127 trillion, an increase of N735.85 billion from the initial executive proposal for a total expenditure of N16.391 billion.
The president explained that 186.53 billion naira of the increase, however, came from additional critical spending that he had authorized the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to pass on to the National Assembly.
“The minister will provide the public with the details of the budget as adopted by the National Assembly and enacted by myself,” he said.
The president announced that with the 2023 budget to be a transitional budget, work will begin in earnest to ensure the rapid submission of the 2023-2025 medium-term expenditure framework and the budget strategy document as well as the 2023 appropriation bill to The national assembly. .
He therefore asked the heads of ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, more specifically with the Federation Budget Office, to achieve this very objective. important.
President Buhari also expressed strong reservations about the “disturbing changes” made by the National Assembly to the 2022 executive budget proposal.
He announced that he would return to the National Assembly with a request for an amendment as soon as the Assembly resumes to ensure that the ongoing critical cardinal projects for this administration do not suffer a setback due to funding. reduced.
The President recounted that during the presentation of the 2022 Appropriations Bill, he said that the 2022 exercise will be very crucial in his administration’s efforts to carry out and implement the critical projects of the agenda, as well as to improve the general living conditions of our people. .
It is in this regard that I must express my reservations about many of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the 2022 executive budget proposal.
“Some of the disturbing changes are as follows:
” Increase in the projected income of the independent FGN by 400 billion naira, the justification for which has not yet been provided to the executive;
” Reduction of the sinking fund provision to withdraw maturing bonds of 22 billion naira without any explanation;
” Reduction of provisions for non-regular allowances for the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Navy by N15 billion and N5 billion respectively.
” This is particularly worrying because the provisions for personnel costs are based on the nominal list of agencies and approved salaries / allowances;
In addition, an increase of 21.72 billion naira in the overhead budgets of some MDAs, while the sum of 1.96 billion naira was cut from the provision for some MDAs without apparent justification;
” Increase in the provision for capital expenditure (excluding capital’s share of statutory transfer) by a net amount of N 575.63 billion, from N 4.89 trillion to N 5.47 trillion naira. ”
President Buhari also expressed concern over cuts in provisions for some critical projects, including N12.6 billion in the Ministry of Transport’s budget for ongoing rail modernization projects; N25.8 billion from the electricity sector reform program under the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; 14.5 billion naira from several projects of the Ministry of Agriculture and introducing more than 1,500 new projects in the budgets of this ministry and its agencies.
In addition, the President also expressed his reservations on the following points:
” Inclusion of new provisions totaling N36.59 billion for National Assembly projects in the service-wide vote that denies the principles of separation of powers and financial autonomy of the legislative arm of government.
The changes made to the initial executive proposal take the form of further insertions, outright deletions, reductions and / or increases in the amounts allocated to projects.
“The provisions made for no less than 10,733 projects were reduced while 6,576 new projects were introduced into the budget by the National Assembly.
“Reduced provisions for many strategic capital projects to introduce ‘Empowerment’ projects.
The cuts in the provisions of several of these projects by the National Assembly can make the projects not feasible or delay their realization, in particular some of the strategic capital projects of this Administration.
” Most of the projects inserted concern issues that are primarily the responsibility of the state and local governments, and do not seem to have been properly conceptualized, designed and costed.
“Many other projects have been added to the budgets of some MDAs without any consideration for the institutional capacity to execute the additional projects and / or for the additional recurrent expenditures that may be required.”
President Buhari said it was surprising that despite the increase in revenue projected by the National Assembly of 609.27 billion naira, the additional demand by the executive of 186.53 billion naira for expenditure items Criticism could not be met without increasing the deficit, while the sum of 550.59 billion naira from the projected additional revenues was allocated at the discretion of the National Assembly.
“ I signed the 2022 finance bill to allow its implementation to begin on January 1, 2022.
” However, I will come back to the National Assembly with a request for amendment and / or transfer as soon as the Assembly resumes to ensure that the critical projects underway that are essential to this administration, and those in the process of being completion, do not suffer setbacks due to reduced funding. ”
Regarding COVID-19 and the implementation of the budget, the President said that despite the lingering negative effects of the pandemic, he was satisfied with the success recorded in the implementation of the 2021 budget.
The sum of 3.94 trillion naira that was provided for the implementation of investment projects by MDAs during the fiscal year has been fully released.
” To enable MDAs to complete the implementation of their 2021 investment projects and optimize the impact of the investment budget on the economy, they were allowed to continue spending the released funds for their budgets. investment 2021 until March 31, 2022, ” he said.
The President praised the understanding and rapid action of the National Assembly on this issue.
“” As the 2022 budget will be the last budget of the year to be implemented by our administration, its effective implementation is very critical for the realization of our existing projects, the promotion of social inclusion and the strengthening of the resilience of the economy.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will implement all necessary measures to ensure a timely and targeted release of capital credits.
” All MDAs should carry out the early start of project implementation, while ensuring a productive use of the funds provided for the achievement of the objectives set for their sectors.
“We continue to count on the cooperation of state governments in our efforts to protect the lives and livelihoods of our people. “
To meet the laudable 2022 budget targets, President Buhari has pledged that the federal government will further step up revenue mobilization efforts.
He expressed optimism about the government’s ability to finance the budget given the positive outlook for the global oil market and the continued improvement in non-oil revenues.
To meet our revenue targets, revenue-generating agencies and indeed all MDAs must ensure the prompt and full disbursement of the revenue collected.
Relevant agencies must also ensure that our crude oil production and export targets are met.
I also appeal to our fellow citizens and to the business community as a whole to meet their tax obligations as soon as possible.
However, being a deficit budget, the specific borrowing plan will be sent to the National Assembly shortly.
” I count on the collaboration of the National Assembly for a rapid study and approval of the Plan once submitted.
“All borrowings will be used wisely and invested in our future growth and prosperity. “
The President also asked MDAs to get in touch with the Office of Public Enterprises and / or the Commission for Concessions and Infrastructure Regulation to explore the opportunities available for public-private partnerships, concessions as well as agreements. climate finance to accelerate the pace of infrastructure development.
He thanked the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Federation Budget Office and all those who worked tirelessly and sacrificed so much to produce the 2022 finance law.
Let me conclude by saluting the understanding, sacrifice and resilience of our people during these difficult times.
“As a government, we remain committed to improving the general living conditions of our people.
“We will continue to implement measures to moderate the unintended negative effects of policies on citizens,” he said.