By Bassey Udo
With over N10.78 trillion deficit component in the 2023 Federal Budget, President Muhammadu Buhari says the entire N206.18 billion realised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as privatisation proceeds would used in funding part of the deficit.
The President disclosed this at the presentation of the 2023 budget estimates to the joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.
The Budget totalling over N20.51 trillion was tagged: “Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Transition”.
The president gave other sources of funding the deficit to include fresh borrowings totalling N8.80 trillion and N1.77 trillion drawdowns on bilateral/multilateral loans secured for specific development projects/programmes.
The proposed budget showed that expenditure component to comprise Statutory Transfers (N744.11 billion); Non-debt Recurrent Costs (N8.27 trillion); Personnel Costs (N4.99 trillion);
Pensions, Gratuities/Retirees’ Benefits (N854.8 billion); Overheads (N1.11 trillion);
Capital Expenditure (N5.35 trillion, including the capital component of Statutory Transfers; Debt Service (N6.31 trillion, and Sinking Fund (N247.73 billion) to retire certain maturing bonds.
The administration, the President said, had in the last seven years transformed Nigeria’s challenging power sector, through interventions such as the Siemens Power Programme, with the German government under which over $2 billion would be invested in the development of the Transmission Grid.
Also, he said, the administration leveraged several billions of dollars in concessional and other funds from Nigeria’s 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.
“The Central Bank has also been impactful in its interventions to roll out over a million meters to on-grid electricity 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”, he added.
On the generation side, he announced that his administration made significant investments to increase the power generating assets by 4,000MW, 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.
“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”, he stated.