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FG Spent N1.25 Trillion On Debt Service In 5 Months

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The Federal Government spent N1.25 trillion between January and May 2020 on debt servicing, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has said. Nigeria’s current debt stock is over N33trn.

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She gave the figures on Friday during virtual consultative session with CSO’s, the organised private sector and the general public on the draft 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Sustainability Paper (MTEF/FSP).

Giving an update on the initial 2020 budget performance between January and May, she said on the expenditure side, N9.97 trillion was appropriated (excluding Government-owned enterprises and Project tied loans), while N3.52 trillion (representing 84.8% of the prorata N4.16 trillion) was spent.

Of the expenditure, she said N1.25 trillion was for debt service, and N1.32 trillion for personnel cost, including pensions. Thus as at the end of May 2020, only N253.33 billion had been released for capital expenditure, a situation she attributes largely to the budget revision exercise.

On revenues performance she said as at end of May 2020, FGN’s retained revenue was N1.48 trillion, 56% of target while non-oil tax revenues totalled N439.32bn (65% of revised target).

According to Mrs. Ahmed, other revenues amounted to N339.51 billion, of which independent revenues was N80.22 billion (21% of target).

Recoveries and Stamp duty collected during the period are yet to be booked in the fiscal accounts. On the MTEF projections, she said the projected FG net revenue is N6.71trn in 2021, N7.8trn in 2022 and N8.6trn in 2023.

She however said a fiscal deficit of N5.16trn in 2021 is anticipated. On key assumptions, she said from 2021-2024 the oil benchmark price is projected at $40, and exchange rate at $360/$1.

She also said the production is projected at 1.8m barrels per day in 2021, 2.09m in 2022 and 2.38m in 2023.

On GDP projections, she said “oil GDP is expected to contract by 12.96% in 2020, year on year, causing an economy-wide drag resulting in slower growth in non-oil GDP by -3.6%, year on year. “Based on this, real GDP is expected to decline by 4. 2% in 2020.

“The nominal GDP is expected to increase from N130,836.1 billion in 2020 to N132,125.4 billion in 2021 and then up to N138,415.8 billion in 2023.

“Similarly, consumption expenditure is projected to stay flat at N118,735.2 billion in 2020 and N118,468.7 billion in 2021 and grow to N124,358.5 billion by 2023, reflecting a gradual steadiness in the recovery.

“Inflation, however, is expected to remain above single digit” she stated.

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