The Senate has approved the Federal Government’s revenue projection of N8.36 trillion as well as the proposed expenditure of N13.98 trillion for the 2022 fiscal year.
Similarly, the lawmakers passed the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF/FSP, ahead of the expected presentation of the 2022 Appropriation bill to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The passage of the 2022–2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, which was submitted to the legislative arm for approval last month by President Buhari, was sequel to the deliberation of a report by the Joint Committee on Finance; Local and Foreign debts; Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; Petroleum Resources, Upstream, Downstream Petroleum sector and Gas, presented by Senator Solomon Adeola, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.
Before the passage of the budget, Senator Gabriel Suswam, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power and former Governor of Benue State remarked that there are issues agitating the minds of the citizens of this country, especially when it comes to borrowing. He noted that government borrowing is increasing every year and wondered when it would stop.
He expressed displeasure over irrelevant waivers up to the tune of N2.4 trillion that was granted some businesses even as the country was having over N5.6 trillion deficit budget.
He stated that Nigeria’s budget deficit is now beyond the 3 per cent threshold of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, therefore, we need to combine both fiscal and monetary policies in managing our economy.
Senator Smart Adeyemi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, however, said there is nothing wrong with borrowing, provided it is channelled towards improving infrastructure like roads, health facilities as well as empowering Nigerians.
In its report, the Senate recommended that the fiscal deficit estimate of N5.6 trillion should be sustained due to government’s conservative approach to target setting and its determination to improve the collection efficiency of many revenue generating agencies.
The Senate also demanded a continuous review of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, to ensure that all revenues are promptly remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund and to curtail frivolous deductions and diversion of funds by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Ahmed Lawan, Senate President, on his part, urged the lawmakers to step up their oversight functions