Politics & Policy - Viewpoint - October 8, 2022

Buhari’s 2023 Budget of Fiscal Consolidation & Transition

By Muhammadu Buhari

I am very pleased to be here today to present the 2023 Budget Proposals at this Joint Session of the National Assembly. This is the last time I will be laying the budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria before the National
Assembly.
2. Mr. President; Mr. Speaker: As I address this Joint Session on the Budget for the last time, let me highlight some of the progress that we have made in last seven and half years, in just two important areas of Critical Infrastructure
and Good Governance.
3. We have made transformational investments in Infrastructure, notably:
a. Establishing the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (‘InfraCorp’), in 2021, seed capital of N1 trillion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (‘CBN’), the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (‘NSIA’) and the Africa
Finance Corporation (‘AFC’);
2b. Leveraging finance through the NSIA into the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (‘PIDF’) to facilitate the accelerated completion of the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Abuja-Kano
Road;
c. Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme pursuant to Executive Order #7 of 2019, incentivised responsible companies to invest billions of Naira in constructing over 1,500km critical roads in key
economic corridors. Under this Scheme, the Dangote Group has substantially completed the Reconstruction of 34km Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway and the 43km Obajana-Kabba Road.
Similarly, Nigeria LNG Limited is on track to complete the 38km BodoBonny Road and Bridges Project by the end of 2023;
d. Under our Sukuk Bonds scheme, since 2017, over N600 billion has been raised and invested in 941km for over 40 critical road projects nationwide, complement the Ministry of Works and Housing’s Highway
Development and Management Initiative and other interventions;
e. Investing significantly to restore our national railways, completing and commissioning the 156km Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail (and its 8.72km extension to Lagos Port); the 186km Abuja-Kaduna Standard
Gauge Rail; and 327km Itakpe-Warri Standard Gauge Rail.

These completed projects complement our ongoing investments in Light Rail, Narrow and Standard Gauge Rail, Ancillary Facilities Yards, Wagon Assembly Plants, E-Ticketing infrastructure as well as the training and
development of our rail engineers and other workers;
f. We have completed New Airport Terminals at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, and reconstructed the Abuja Airport Runway in its first overhaul since its construction in the early 1980s.
g. Other investments in airports safety facilities, aeronautical meteorological services delivery complement ongoing development of seaports and ancillary infrastructure at the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Bonny
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Deep Sea Port, Onitsha River Port, as well as the Kaduna, Kano and Katsina Inland Dry Ports to create a truly multimodal transport system;
h. We have transformed Nigeria’s challenging power sector, through bespoke interventions such as the Siemens Power Program, with the German government under which over 2 billion US Dollars will be
invested in the Transmission Grid.
i. We have leveraged over billions of US dollars in concessional and other funds from our partners at the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, JICA as well as through the Central Bank of Nigeria, working with the Finance Ministry, to support the power sector reforms.
j. The Central Bank has also been impactful in its interventions to roll out over a million meters to on-grid consumers, creating much needed jobs in assembly and installation. Our financing interventions have recently
been complemented with the takeover of four electricity distribution companies and the constitution of the Board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company.
k. On the generation side, we have made significant investments in and incremental 4,000MW of power generating assets, including Zungeru Hydro, Kashimbila Hydro, Afam III Fast Power, Kudenda Kaduna Power Plant, the Okpai Phase 2 Plant, the Dangote Refinery Power Plant, and others.
l. Our generation efforts are making the transition from a reliance on oil and diesel, to gas as a transitional fuel, as well as environmentally friendly solar and hydro sources. Under the Energising Education Programme, we have commissioned solar and gas power solutions at Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals at Kano, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Delta States. Similarly, our Energising Economies Programme have taken clean, sustainable power solutions to the Sabon-Gari Market in Kano, Ariaria Market in Aba, and Sura Shopping Complex in Lagos.
4. In terms of Good Governance, one significant challenge this Administration met at our inception was the inability of successive Governments to institutionalise reforms to ensure their sustainability. We inherited an archaic set of corporate, banking and capital markets laws; draft but unenacted Bills to reform the critical petroleum sector; an unimplemented Oronsaye White Paper to reform our civil service, amongst others.
5. I was therefore committed, at the onset of this Administration’s Good Governance and Fighting Corruption Reforms, to focus on the muchneglected area of law reform, to bequeath a better legacy to the succeeding
Administration, than the one we met. Our innovative, encompassing and
historically significant legislative interventions include:
a. Critical corporate and financial laws to enhance our countries’ global
competitiveness, including the repeal and re-enactment of Companies
and Allied Matters Act (‘CAMA’) 2020 – the first comprehensive reform
since 1990; enacting the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection
Commission (FCCPC) Bill, the first legislation in Nigeria’s history focused
on curbing anti-competition practices; establishing the Federal
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission; re-pealing and reenacting the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020;
enacting the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON
(Amendment) Acts of 2019 and 2021; enacting the Credit Reporting Act
(CRA) 2017 and Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act (STMAA)
2017, to mention our major legislative interventions;
b. Fundamental anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and financial
intelligence laws, such as the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 (being the first
comprehensive reform of Police legislation since the Police Act of 1943);
the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Act 2017 (which resolved the
longstanding impediments to Nigeria’s full participation in the global
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efforts to combat illicit financing of terrorism and crime under the
auspices of the global Egmont Group); the Money Laundering
(Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022; the Terrorism (Prevention and
Prohibition) Act 2022, Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management)
Act, 2022; Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, 2019; Nigerian
Correctional Services Act, 2019; Suppression of Piracy and other
Maritime Offences Act, 2019; amongst others.
c. Historic reforms to our Constitutional and other public laws, including the
first ever amendments to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria to support the engagement of young persons in our politics by
passing Not Too Young to Run legislation, as well as to improve the
funding and independence of States’ Legislatures and Judiciaries;
enacting overdue reforms through the Electoral Act, 2022;
d. Finally enacting into law the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 after close to
two decades of drafting, debates and delays – leading to the
commercialization of NNPC Limited, and other much needed reforms to
our energy sector. This important law also complements other landmark
legislations such as the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production
Sharing Contracts Act, 1993 (Amendment) Act, 2019, to increase oil and
gas revenues accruing to the Federation;
e. Enacting annual Finance Acts of 2019, 2020 and 2021 to support our
annual Budgets and respond to emerging tax, fiscal and economic
issues, including:
I. reducing headline corporate tax rates for Small and MediumSized Enterprises;
II. reforming archaic tax legislation in line with global best practices
to combat Base Erosion and Transfer Pricing;
III. reforming the taxation of securities lending and real estate
investment trusts to spur increased investments on our capital
markets;
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IV. empowering the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria
Customs Service to optimize their use of technology to more
efficiently collect taxes and levies; and
V. increasing VAT revenues predominantly to support our States and
Local Governments’ precious finances during and after the
impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the economy;
f. Furthermore, we have issued eleven Presidential Executive Orders on a
range of important issues, including the Promotion of Transparency and
Efficiency in the Business Environment, 2017;
I. Promoting Local Procurement by Government Agencies, 2017;
II. the Submission of Annual Budgetary Estimates by all Statutory and
non-Statutory Agencies, including Incorporated Companies
wholly owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria, 2017;
III. the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme, 2017;
IV. Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content
in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology, 2018;
V. the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS),
2018;
VI. Open Defecation and enhanced sanitation, 2019;
VII. the innovative Road Infrastructure Development and
Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, 2019; and
VIII. the National Public Buildings Maintenance, 2022.
6. We could not have made these historical achievements without the
exceptional partnership this Administration has had with the Leadership, and
Members of the National Assembly. So may I pause here, to once again, thank
the Senate and the House of Representatives for your engagement, support
and contribution to these successes, which history will remember us all
favourably for.
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RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
7. The 2023 Budget was prepared amidst a very challenging world
economy that is weakened by the lingering effects of the COVID-19
pandemic, high inflation, high crude oil prices resulting in huge cost of PMS
Subsidy and negative spill over effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.
8. Many economies around the world are currently contending with fiscal
instability, slow growth, food crisis, and high interest rates. Like many other
countries, our economy faces headwinds from low revenues, high inflation,
exchange rate depreciation and insecurity.
9. However, Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.54 percent in
the second quarter of 2022, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of
growth. Our interventionist and reflationary measures have been very effective
and impactful. We must however continue to work towards achieving much
higher levels of growth, especially given our high population growth rate, so
that the average Nigerian can truly feel the impact of planned economic
growth.
10. Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, despite continuing
efforts, unemployment, underemployment, and poverty rates remain high. We
are currently implementing several skills development programmes and work
opportunity programmes to enhance the employability of our youths and
tackle the troubling level of youth unemployment.
11. While it is evident that our economy still faces significant challenges,
what could have happened without the implementation of some of the
measure we introduced, would have been much worse for the country.
REVIEW OF 2022 BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION
12. Distinguished and Honourable Members of the National Assembly, the
implementation of the 2022 ‘Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability
commenced on the first day of the year. It was, however, necessary to forward
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an amended budget proposal to address some exigent issues, especially the
significant increase in fuel subsidy.
13. The amended 2022 Budget was based on a benchmark oil price of 73
US Dollars per barrel, oil production of 1.60 million barrels per day, and
exchange rate of 410.15 Naira to US Dollar.
14. As at 31st July 2022, Federal Government’s retained revenues was 3.66
trillion Naira, excluding the revenue of Government-Owned Enterprises. Thus,
revenue collection was only 63 percent of our target, largely due to the
underperformance of oil and gas revenue sources.
15. Despite higher oil prices in 2022, oil revenue was below target due to
significant oil production shortfalls and high petrol subsidy cost resulting from
the significant rise in Crude prices which ultimately increased PMS prices
worldwide.
16. Oil output stood at an average of 1.30 million barrels per day as at June
2022, while the sum of 1.59 trillion Naira was spent on fuel subsidy between
January and June 2022. The NNPC, working in collaboration with security and
other relevant agencies, is putting in place additional measures to curb the
incidence of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in order to meet our crude
oil production quota.
17. On the expenditure side, the sum of 8.29 trillion Naira had been spent by
July 31 2022 out of the total appropriation of N17.32 trillion. Despite our revenue
challenges, we have consistently met our debt service commitments. Staff
salaries and statutory transfers have also been paid as and when due.
18. Total non-debt recurrent expenditure in January to July 2002 was 3.24
trillion Naira, of which 2.87 trillion Naira was for Salaries, Pensions and
Overheads. A total of 3.09 trillion Naira was spent on debt service obligations
during the period.
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19. Furthermore, about 1.48 trillion Naira had been released to MDAs for
capital expenditure as at the end of July 2022. I am pleased to inform you that
we expect to fund MDAs’ capital budget fully by the end of the fiscal year
2022.
20. To further address structural problems in the economy and drive growth,
capital releases thus far have been prioritised in favour of critical ongoing
projects in the power, roads, rail, agriculture, as well as health and education
sectors.
21. As at the end of July 2022, the fiscal operations of the Federal
Government resulted in an estimated budget deficit of 4.63 trillion Naira. This
represents 63 percent of the estimated deficit for the full year. This is largely
attributable to revenue shortfalls and higher debt service obligations resulting
from rising debt levels and interest rates.
22. The deficit was mainly financed through domestic borrowing amounting
to N4.12 trillion. Hence, total public debt stock increased from 39.6 trillion Naira
as at the end of December 2021 to 42.8 trillion Naira as at the end of June,
2022.
23. However, our debt position remains within cautious and acceptable
limits compared to peer countries. As at the end of June 2022, total public debt
is within our self-imposed limit of 40 percent of GDP, which is significantly below
the 55 percent international threshold for comparator countries, and a global
average of 99 percent post-COVID-19.
24. Nonetheless, our debt-service-to-revenue ratio needs close attention.
The current low revenue performance of government, as reflected in the lowly
revenue-to-GDP ratio of just about 8 percent. Our medium-term objective
remains to raise this ratio to 15 percent, at which the debt service to revenue
ratio will cease to be a concern.
25. Mr. Senate President and Rt. Honourable Speaker, revenue shortfalls
remain the greatest threat to Nigeria’s fiscal viability. We have therefore
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accelerated efforts towards ensuring that all taxable Nigerians declare
income from all sources and pay taxes due to the appropriate authorities. We
are also monitoring the internally generated revenues of MDAs to ensure they
are appropriately accounted for and remitted to the Consolidated Revenue
Fund.
26. The 50 percent cost-to-income ratio in the Finance Act 2020 has
significantly improved operating surplus remittances by Government Owned
Enterprises (GOEs). I therefore solicit the continuing cooperation of the
National Assembly in enforcing the legal provision and other prudential
guidelines imposed on the GOEs during the consideration of the budget
proposals of the GOEs.
27. I am happy to report that the revenue collection and expenditure
management reforms we are implementing are yielding positive results, with
recent significant improvements in non-oil revenue performance. However,
while we continue to implement revenue administration reforms and improve
our collection efficiency, we urgently need to find new ways of generating
revenue.
28. As we seek to grow our government revenues, we must also focus on the
efficiency of utilization of our limited resources. Critical steps we are taking
include immediate implementation of additional measures towards reducing
the cost of governance and the discontinuation of fuel subsidy in 2023 as
announced earlier. We are however mindful of the fact that reducing
government spending too drastically can be socially destabilizing, and so will
continue to implement programmes to support the more vulnerable segments
of society.
29. Petrol subsidy has been a recurring and controversial public policy issue
in our country since the early eighties. However, its current fiscal impact has
clearly shown that the policy is unsustainable. As a country, we must now
confront this issue taking cognizance of the need to provide safety nets to
cushion the attendant effects on some segments of society.
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RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS
30. Over the last year, this Administration has implemented several priority
projects. Our focus has been on the completion of key road and rail projects;
the effective implementation of power sector projects; the provision of clean
water; construction of irrigation infrastructure and dams across the country;
and critical health projects such as upgrading Primary Health Care Centres
across the six geopolitical zones.
31. We have also gone further on the implementation of several power
generation, transmission, and distribution projects, as well as off-grid solutions,
all aimed towards achieving the national goal of optimizing power supply by
2025.
32. In the determination to ramp up grid electricity supply to at least 7,000
megawatts by 2024, we have procured purpose-built critical power
equipment under the Presidential Power Initiative with Siemens as we
promised. These projects will have multiplier effects on the economy.
33. Under the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, we are undertaking
the construction and rehabilitation of about two thousand kilometres of roads
and bridges, nationwide, to be financed by the grant of tax credits to investing
private companies.
34. As I mentioned earlier, we have made appreciable progress in the
rehabilitation and reconstruction of key road networks like the Lagos – Ibadan
expressway, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressway and East-West Road in Niger
Delta. Work has also reached completion stage on the Apapa – Oworonsoki
expressway, Loko-Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge. We hope to
commission these projects before the end of our tenure in 2023.
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35. Furthermore, we have awarded several contracts to rehabilitate,
reconstruct and construct major arterial roads to reduce the hardship to
commuters and increase economic activity.
36. Regarding personnel costs, we have extended the coverage of the
Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to all MDAs to
automate personnel records and the process by which salaries are paid and
eliminate the incidence of ghost workers. The system is currently being
reviewed to enhance its functionality and applicability to MDAs in the different
sectors.
37. Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, although we have
recorded more achievements over the last year, I will now proceed with an
overview of the 2023 Budget proposal.
THEME AND PRIORITIES OF THE 2023 BUDGET
38. The 2023 Budget proposal is the eighth and final budget of this
Administration. It reflects the serious challenges currently facing our country,
key reforms necessary to address them, and imperatives to achieve higher,
more inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth.
39. The expenditure policy of Government in 2023 is designed to achieve
the strategic objectives of the National Development Plan 2021 to 2025,
including macroeconomic stability; human development; food security;
improved business environment; energy sufficiency; improving transport
infrastructure; and promoting industrialization focusing on Small and Medium
Scale Enterprises.
40. Against the backdrop of the challenging global and domestic
economic environment, it is imperative that we strengthen our
macroeconomic environment and address subsisting challenges as a country.
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The 2023 Appropriation therefore is a Budget of Fiscal Sustainability and
Transition. Our principal objective in 2023 is to maintain fiscal viability and
ensure smooth transition to the incoming Administration.
2023 BUDGET PARAMETERS AND FISCAL ASSUMPTIONS
41. Distinguished Members of the National Assembly, the 2023 to 2025
Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper sets out the
parameters for the 2023 Budget as follows:
a. Oil price benchmark of 70 US Dollars per barrel;
b. Daily oil production estimate of 1.69 million barrels (inclusive of
Condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day);
c. Exchange rate of 435.57 Naira per US Dollar; and
d. Projected GDP growth rate of 3.75 percent and 17.16 percent
inflation rate.
2023 REVENUE ESTIMATES
42. Based on these fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federallycollectible revenue is estimated at 16.87 trillion Naira in 2023.
43. Total federally distributable revenue is estimated at 11.09 trillion Naira in
2023, while total revenue available to fund the 2023 Federal Budget is
estimated at 9.73 trillion Naira. This includes the revenues of 63 GovernmentOwned Enterprises.
44. Oil revenue is projected at 1.92 trillion Naira, Non-oil taxes are estimated
at 2.43 trillion Naira, FGN Independent revenues are projected to be 2.21 trillion
Naira. Other revenues total 762 billion Naira, while the retained revenues of the
GOEs amount to N2.42 trillion Naira.
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45. The 2023 Appropriation Bill aims to maintain the focus of MDAs on the
revenue side of the budget and greater attention to internal revenue
generation. Sustenance of revenue diversification strategy would further
increase the non-oil revenue share of total revenues.
PLANNED 2023 EXPENDITURE
46. A total expenditure of 20.51 trillion Naira is proposed for the Federal
Government in 2023. This includes 2.42 trillion Naira spending by GovernmentOwned Enterprises. The proposed 20.51 trillion Naira 2023 expenditure
comprises:
a. Statutory Transfers of N744.11 billion;
b. Non-debt Recurrent Costs of N8.27 trillion;
c. Personnel Costs of N4.99 trillion;
d. Pensions, Gratuities and Retirees’ Benefits of N854.8 billion;
e. Overheads of N1.11 trillion;
f. Capital Expenditure of N5.35 trillion, including the capital
component of Statutory Transfers;
g. Debt Service of N6.31 trillion; and
h. Sinking Fund of N247.73 billion to retire certain maturing bonds.
FISCAL BALANCE
47. We expect total fiscal operations of the Federal Government to result in
a deficit of 10.78 trillion Naira. This represents 4.78 percent of estimated GDP,
above the 3 percent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
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48. As envisaged by the law, we need to exceed this threshold considering
the need to continue to tackle the existential security challenges facing the
country.
49. We plan to finance the deficit mainly by new borrowings totalling 8.80
trillion Naira, 206.18 billion Naira from Privatization Proceeds and 1.77 trillion
Naira drawdowns on bilateral/multilateral loans secured for specific
development projects/programmes.
50. Over time, we have resorted to borrowing to finance our fiscal gaps. We
have been using loans to finance critical development projects and
programmes aimed at further improving our economic environment and
enhance the delivery of public services to our people.
51. As you are aware, we have witnessed two economic recessions within
the period of this Administration. A direct result of this is the significant decline
in our revenue generating capacity.
52. In both cases, we had to spend our way out of recession, resulting in
higher public debt and debt service. It is unlikely that our recovery from each
of the two recessions would have been as fast without the sustained
government expenditure funded by debt.
FINANCE BILL 2022
53. In line with our plan to accompany annual budgets with Finance Bills,
partly to support the realization of fiscal projections, current tax and fiscal
laws/regulations are being reviewed to produce a draft Finance Bill 2022.
54. It is our intention that once ongoing consultations are completed, the
Finance Bill 2022 would be submitted to the National Assembly to be
considered alongside the 2023 Appropriation Bill.
ENSURING FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY
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55. To ensure fiscal sustainability, we will further improve our businessenabling environment, accelerate current revenue-based fiscal consolidation
efforts and strengthen our expenditure and debt management.
BUDGET OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED ENTERPRISES
56. Distinguished Senators, Honourable Members, you may recall that we
earlier integrated the budget of Government-Owned Enterprises into the
FGN’s 2019 budget submission. This has helped to enhance the
comprehensiveness and transparency of the FGN budget. It has however
come to my attention that Government-Owned Enterprises liaise directly with
relevant NASS committees to have their budget passed and issued to them
directly.
57. I would like to implore the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure
that the budget I lay here today, which includes those of the GOEs, be
returned to the Presidency when passed. The current practice where some
committees of the National Assembly purport to pass budgets for GOEs, which
are at variance with the budgets sanctioned by me, and communicate such
directly to the MDAs is against the rules and needs to stop.
FINANCING INFRASTRUCTURE GAP
58. Nigeria requires a huge outlay of resources to close current infrastructure
gaps and boost its economic performance. Government will develop projects
that are good candidates for Public Private Partnership (PPP) by their nature
for private sector participation.
BUDGET PROCESS BILL 2022
59. Distinguished Senators, Honourable Members, ladies and gentlemen.
Over the course of this Administration, we have embarked on a number of
reforms in the Public Finance Management space. These reforms are bearing
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fruits and we have seen some of the benefits of the return to a predictable
January to December fiscal year for the FGN budget.
60. Earlier this year, I was briefed of the impressive performance of Nigeria in
the Open Budget Survey, as the third best or most improved country in the
world, matching the global average score in budget transparency and
exceeding the global average in public participation.
61. I commend the Budget Office of the Federation and the Supervising
Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning, the National Assembly
Leadership, the relevant Appropriation and Finance Committees as well as
non-state actors who have worked tirelessly in pushing for greater
transparency and accountability in our budget process.
62. We need to sustain and institutionalize the gains of these reforms. To this
end, I have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to
immediately work on mainstreaming these reforms and work with the National
Assembly on passing an Organic Budget Law, which I hope to assent to before
the end of this Administration.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
63. The Government notes with dismay the crisis that has paralysed activities
in the public universities in the country. We expect the staff of these institutions
to show a better appreciation of the current state of affairs in the country. In
the determined effort to resolve the issue, we have provided a total of 470.0
billion in the 2023 budget from our constrained resources, for revitalization and
salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions.
64. Distinguished Senators and Honourable members, it is instructive to note
that today Government alone cannot provide the resources required for
funding tertiary education.
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65. In most countries, the cost of education is jointly shared between the
government and the people, especially at the tertiary level. It is imperative
therefore that we introduce a more sustainable model of funding tertiary
education.
66. The Government remains committed to the implementation of
agreements reached with staff unions within available resources. This is why
we have remained resolute that we will not sign any agreement that we would
be unable to implement. Individual institutions would be encouraged to keep
faith with any agreement reached in due course to ensure stability in the
educational sector.
67. Government is equally committed to improving the quality of education
at other levels. Recently, we implemented various incentives aimed at
motivating and enhancing teachers’ development in our schools.
68. In the health sector, the Government intends to focus attention on
equipping existing hospitals and rehabilitating infrastructure. Emphasis will also
be on local production of basic medicines/vaccines.
69. As human capital is the most critical resource for national development,
our overall policy thrust is to expand our investment in education, health and
social protection.
WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
70. To harness the potentials of all Nigerian women and enable them to
productively contribute to the economy, we will continue to prioritise women’s
empowerment programmes across various MDAs in 2023.
FOOD PRICES
71. Government is very concerned about the high food prices in the
country. Various measures are being implemented to address structural factors
underlying the issue. We will also step-up current efforts aimed at boosting food
production and distribution in the country. You will recall our efforts in improving
production of fertilizer, rice, maize cassava among other earlier initiatives.
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BOOSTING MANUFACTURING PERFORMANCE
72. Government is not unaware of the challenges confronting the
manufacturing sector. We will ensure effective implementation of policy
measures aimed at positioning the manufacturing sector to generate more
foreign exchange in the near future. We are also committed to improving the
business environment to stimulate local and foreign investment.
SAFE SCHOOLS INITIATIVE
73. We ratified the Safe Schools Declaration in 2019. We remain committed
to the effective implementation of our Safe Schools Policy. A total of 15.2 billion
Naira has been specifically provided in the 2023 Budget to scale up current
measures to provide safer and conducive learning environment in our schools.
DEFENCE AND INTERNAL SECURITY
74. The Government remains firmly committed to the security of life,
property and investment across the country. Accordingly, defence and
internal security continue to be accorded top priority in 2023. Current efforts to
properly equip and motivate our valiant personnel in the armed forces, police
and paramilitary units will be sustained.
75. I assure you, insecurity, especially banditry and kidnapping, will be
significantly curtailed before the end of this Administration. We will redouble
our efforts to ensure we leave a legacy of a peaceful, prosperous and secured
nation.
76. Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker, Distinguished and Honourable
Members of the National Assembly, let me conclude my address today by
again expressing my deep appreciation for your enormous support, patriotic
zeal, and cooperation in our efforts to accelerate the socio-economic
development of our country and improve the lives of our people.
77. I appreciate the efforts and commitment of the leadership and
staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning,
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especially the Budget Office of the Federation, who have worked hard
to achieve early submission of the 2023 Appropriation Bill.
78. The 2023 budget proposal is a product of inter-agency
collaboration, extensive stakeholder consultations and productive
engagements. I would therefore like to acknowledge the efforts of the
media, the organized private sector, civil society organizations and our
development partners for their contributions in the process of preparing
the Budget.
79. Considering the challenging situation in our country presently, we must
continue to cooperate and collaborate to ensure fiscal sustainability,
macroeconomic stability and smooth transition to the incoming
Administration.
80. This Administration remains resolutely committed to our goals of
improving the living standard of our people and effective delivery of public
services.
81. Distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly,
although no single government can solve all the problems of a country during
its own tenure, I have no doubt that you share our aspiration that the 2023
transition budget is designed to address critical issues and lay a solid
foundation for the incoming Administration.
82. It is with great pleasure therefore, that I lay before this distinguished Joint
Session of the National Assembly, the 2023 Budget Proposals of the Federal
Government of Nigeria.
I thank you most sincerely for your attention. May God bless the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.

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