Continuous Borrowing To Fund 2022 Budget Worrisome – Ndume

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> The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, has described as worrisome, the decision of the federal government to borrow more funds to finance the 2022 budget. Next year’s budget of N16.39 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday has a deficit of N6.26 trillion. Nigeria’s proposed N16.39trn budget raises more questions, less hope Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, had said the government would source more loans to fund the deficit. Senator Ndume, in a statement on Saturday, said the government’s proposal to finance the budget by borrowing more is worrisome. He, instead, advised the executive to cut down personal and recurrent costs; increase revenues and plug all leakages. The estimated budget for recurrent expenditure for the projected year, which is N6.83 trillion, represented 41.7% of total expenditure budget. “This is still on the high side,” Ndume said. He also advised that the “Presidential Economic Advisory Committee and finance experts should be actively involved in the debt management and re-evaluation of our debt profile.” The Borno South senator, however, commended Buhari for prioritising spending on defence & security, infrastructure and education with the sectors getting a combined N5.15 trillion allocation in the 2022 Budget. From the proposal, defence and security got N2.41 trillion (15%); infrastructure N1.45 trillion (8.9%); education N1.29 trillion (7.9%); health N820 billion (5%) and Social Development and Poverty Eradication N863 billion (5.3%) of the entire allocation. Ndume urged the president to pay more attention to the effective, transparent, and accountable implementation of the budget by the MDAs when passed so that the impact will be visible to Nigerians. “The National Assembly should also be more active in the discharge of its oversight function to ensure effective implementation of the budget,” he added.

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