The Nigerian federal government is contemplating returning to the National Assembly next year to seek approval for a supplementary budget if the country surpasses its revenue projections. The 2024 appropriation bill of N27.5 trillion, presented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is currently under scrutiny by the legislative arm.
During a joint sitting with the National Assembly Committee on Finance, Mr. Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, informed lawmakers about a significant improvement in the country’s revenue profile in recent months.
Edun said if the revenue continued to increase, the federal government might return to the National Assembly to seek further appropriation for the additional revenue.
He said, “The revenue performance was encouraging, here we see that the revenue profile is encouraging.
“It is expected that it will continue to be encouraging. There is a fiscal policy and tax reform committee which is already at work.
“It is meant to provide fundamental changes together with digitalization and greater efficiency in collection because it is revenue to debt that can give us the opportunity to even increase this budget.
“If we have a solid revenue performance, we will be coming back, and I am sure Mr. President will authorize the process to return to the National Assembly to appropriate extra revenue. That is a situation we are all looking forward to.”
He said, “When we look at the actual budget performance, expenditure as of the third quarter of the year, which is September, was 32 per cent below the budget estimate.
“Revenue was five per cent up, the revenue performance is quite encouraging because of a change in exchange rate, a depreciation of the currency and the fact we have foreign debt of about $46 billion outstanding.
“This means that debt service was up by 18 per cent, capital expenditure performed below budget quite significantly.
“We are looking at the issue of procurement process and ways to speed up capital spending.
“In terms of overall balance of the budget, the fiscal deficit is expected to come down from N13.7 trillion to N9.2 trillion.
“Importantly, the deficit, the amount of the budget to be funded by borrowing, is down from 6.1 per cent to 3.9 per cent. That is, the percent of GDP and Capital expenditure remains at 32 per cent, so that is the whole structure of the budget.
“In the meantime, the efforts in tax side, to tax revenue as a percentage of GDP from its relatively low figure of under 10 per cent, is doubling now within two or three years to 18 per cent.”