Buhari’s 8-Year Budget Declaration in Nigeria and the Percentage Usage

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In his eight years in office, the outgoing President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, signed eight budgets into law.

This article will look at how the budgets were used and the results achieved in the implementation of those budgets.

We begin with the first budget that President Muhammadu Buhari signed as the Democratic President of Nigeria. Which is the 2016 budget.

2016 Budget

In December 2015, the Nigerian leader presented a budget of 6.08 trillion naira to the country’s National Assembly, which he titled ‘Budget of Change.

After so much back and forth, the lawmakers agreed on N6.06 trillion as the 2016 budget.

Talking about the 2016 budget performance in terms of revenue projections, one could say that the government’s actual revenue in the fiscal year 2016 performed significantly lower than expectations as total revenue amounted to only N1.75 trillion, 54.66% below the 2016 budget projections of N3.86 trillion.

Even the receipts from oil, which many believed constituted the bulk of Nigeria’s funding and drove the activities of the government, made up less than 50% of actual revenue at a sum of N697.8 billion.

The cost of debt servicing became higher than it had been in the previous year.

A total of N4.39 trillion was spent in 2016 despite the government’s budget of N6.06 trillion for the fiscal year. This was due to the late passage of the 2016 budget.

The capital expenditure component of the spending in 2016 was only N173bn of the projected N1.58tn. However, some of the capital expenses were carried into the new fiscal year, 2017, in line with the clause attached to the Appropriation Act.

In all, about N3.58 trillion was spent out of the N6.08 trillion budgeted for 2016, according to President Buhari when he presented the 2017 budget to the national assembly.

2017 Budget

President Buhari presented a budget of N7.44 trillion for 2017 to the joint session of the National Assembly for approval.

The 2017 budget was tagged “Budget of Recovery and Growth,” and it was higher than the 2016 budget by about 19.95 percent.

Summarising the outcome of this budget, the finance minister then, Kemi Adeosun, said the capital expenditure for the 2017 fiscal year was more than N1.5 trillion.

Mrs. Adeosun was excited that the expenditure was higher than the level attained in 2016, when the present administration posted a capital of over N1 trillion.

However, by December 2017, the Ministry of Finance acknowledged that only 21 percent of the capital component of the 2017 budget was achieved and that it was a matter of concern to the economy.

So far, in the last 8 years of the Buhari administration, the 2017 budget implementation and performance were the lowest.

2018 Budget

With an aggregate expenditure of N9.12 trillion, proposed revenue of N7.17 trillion, and a deficit of N1.95 trillion, the 2018 budget became larger than the 2016 and 2017 budgets.

The 2018 budget was tagged as a budget of consolidation, and indeed, it consolidated the previous years’ achievements and ensured growth and stability as Nigeria struggled to recover from a period of economic recession.

About 67 percent of the 2018 budget was used and implemented. The president confirmed this when he presented the 2019 budget to the national assembly.

The President had agreed that by September 2018, out of the total appropriation of N9.12 trillion, N4.59 trillion had been spent against the prorated expenditure target of N6.84 trillion.

The figures represented a 67 percent performance just as debt servicing and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure, notably the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions, were on track.

2019 Budget

The 2019 budget, which is tagged the budget of continuity,” stood at N8.92 trillion.

The President presented a budget of N8.83 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly in December 2018, but the approved budget was N8.92 trillion.

After it had been reviewed by the National Assembly, the approved budget reflected a net increase of about N90.33 billion, which represents the impact of the changes made by the National Assembly. Changes made by the National Assembly include reductions in certain items, increases in some, and the insertion of new items.

In December 2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance, under its budget office, published a publication that stated that the 2019 budget achieved 83.95 percent overall usage and performance.

According to that publication, the details of the budget performance showed that out of a total of N6.9 trillion appropriation in the approved 2019 Budget as a revenue estimate, the government’s pro-rated revenue figure for the period was N5.2 trillion, against actual aggregate revenue realised of about N4.2 trillion.

2020 Budget

The year 2020 was a critical year for almost all countries in the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the Nigerian government had to cut down the year’s budget by over N320 billion and propose a new budget of N10.27 trillion against the N10.59 trillion that was passed by the national assembly.

This was not only because of the global economic realities in addition to the coronavirus pandemic but also because of the oil crisis that year.

Nevertheless, the Nigerian government projected a total revenue of N5.37 trillion for 2020, but the actual total revenue stood at N3.42 trillion.

The above meant that the 2020 budget performance in percentage was 63.71 percent.

2021 Budget

The 2021 budget was higher by 26% at N13.6 trillion than the 2020 budget of N10.27 trillion.

The 2021 expenses recorded a 20 percent increase from the 2020 expenditure, which was put at N10.81 trillion. The Federal Government of Nigeria had earlier proposed N11.9 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year to absorb the macroeconomic and domestic economic realities observed in the 2020 Q2.

As of November 2021, the government’s total revenue was N5.51 trillion, about a 30 percent shortfall from the projected N7.89 trillion.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftershocks wreaked havoc on Nigeria’s economy. The size of the 2021 budget was constrained largely due to relatively low revenues and high debt service obligations.

This had resulted in cuts to key social investments, such as health and education, which threatened to erode past development gains and could derail the country from ending extreme poverty and preventable hunger and disease by 2030.

2022 Budget

President Buhari had submitted a budget of N16.3 trillion to the National Assembly, but after much adjustment and additions, the Assembly agreed on N17.126 trillion.

The 2022 budget has a deficit of N6.25 trillion, which is roughly 3.39% of GDP. This is slightly above the 3% ceiling set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.

The 2022 aggregate FGN expenditure is projected to be N17.13 trillion, which is 18% higher than the 2021 budget.

Recurrent (non-debt) spending, estimated to amount to N6.91 trillion, was 40% of total expenditure and 20% higher than the 2021 Budget.

2023 Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the N21.83 trillion 2023 budget into law in January of this year.

This marks the final budget that he will be signing during his administration.

The aggregate expenditure of N21.83 trillion was an increase of N1.32 trillion over the initial executive proposal for a total expenditure of N20.51 trillion.

By the end of 2023, one would be able to tell the implementation and usage of this year’s budget.






















































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