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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

House of reps jerk up 2022 budget to N17.1 trln, increase oil benchmark, deficits

House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the 2022 fiscal policy with the approval of the N17.13 trillion budget estimate for next year.

The lower chamber of the National Assembly also increased the deficit estimate and the benchmark oil prices above the level proposed by the executive.

The Senate is expected to pass the increased budget on Wednesday.

In October, President Muhammadu Buhari presented a spending plan of N16.39 trillion for 2022 to the joint sitting of the National Assembly, represeing 25 percent increase over the previous year’s fiscal spent.

Lawmakers at the House of Representatives passed the spending plan with an oil price of $62 a barrel from $57 presented byy the President and an increased deficit, papers from a budget committee showed.

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The budget will take effect when Buhari signs it into law, though a date has not been set and he could request changes.

Under the 2022 plan, Nigeria will spend N3.88 trillion to service debt and N6.91 trillion on recurrent expenditure. It set aside N5.47 trillion for capital projects.

Buhari has made upgrading transport networks and investing in outdated power grids the pillar of his administration, with a view to boosting agriculture and other non-oil industries to cut dependence on dwindling crude revenues.

Funding has been a major constraint and the government has accrued debt to boost infrastructure and support its fragile economy.

Its total public debt rose 18 percent year-on-year to N38 trillion or $92.75 billion at the end of third quarter of 2021.

Nigeria’s economy expanded by 4.03 percent in the third quarter and is projected to grow by 3 percent this year after it contracted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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