Nigerian lawmakers have agreed to more borrowing to fund the 2022 budget which was tabled by President Muhammadu Buhari in a joint session of the National Assembly last week on Thursday.
Labeled “Economic Growth and Sustainability Budget,” the estimate of N16.390 billion will require Nigeria to borrow about N578 trillion to finance the N6.26 billion deficit.
In recent years Nigeria has borrowed more money to finance the budget rather than looking inward and raising funds for budget implementation.
In October 2005, Nigeria and the Paris Club announced a final agreement for debt relief worth $ 18 billion and an overall reduction of Nigeria’s outstanding debt of $ 30 billion. The deal was made on April 21, 2006, when Nigeria made its final payment and its books were cleared of all Paris Club debt.
According to statistics from the Debt Management Bureau (DMO), Nigeria’s total debt as of June 30, 2021 was N35.460 billion.
But speaking during the budget presentation, Senate Speaker, who is also National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Lawan, said the National Assembly understands why the country needs to borrow, adding that it was the reason they approved the loan application.
“Mr. Speaker, we understand that due to scarcity of revenue, the federal government must resort to fundraising from foreign and domestic sources to provide infrastructure across the country. This is why the National Assembly approved the loan requests. The federal government’s commitment to providing infrastructure across the country means that funds must be raised one way or another. The government should also explore other sources of funding for its projects to reduce borrowing, ”Lawan said.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos) said the president had no hesitation in addressing the issue of the budget deficit of around N6.2 trillion and stressed that the deficit would be funded. through internal and external loans. about N78 trillion, with the balance coming from multilateral and bilateral project-linked loans.
Other lawmakers who spoke to LEADERSHIP about Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti); Uba Sani (Kaduna Central); Ishaku Abbo (APC Adamawa); Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa); Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo) and Hon Gudaji Kazaure representing the Kazaure / Roni / Gwiwa / Yankwashi Federal Constituency of Jigawa State in the House of Representatives said there is a need for the government to borrow and finance the budget deficit.
Now that lawmakers have received the document, many Nigerians are waiting to see how it will be considered.
Even though lawmakers urge Nigerians to be hopeful and wait for their passage of the budget, other Nigerians are raising questions about the elements of the document, the borrowing plans, the projects that would be executed and the payment plans.
“Hopefully, when the budget is considered and adopted by the National Assembly, it will take care of the general interest and concerns of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from an economic point of view,” said Sen Solomon Olamilekan Adeola ( APC Lagos) mentioned.