The many frivolities, absurdities in Buhari’s 2022 budget

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Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari signed a record N17.13 trillion 2022 appropriation bill into law — less than a week after the House of Representatives and senate passed the bill.

However, looking at the budget, vis-à-vis Nigeria’s lean resources, one may not be wrong to say that it is full of frivolities and absurdities, and may further compound the woes of Nigeria.

For a start, over 22 percent of the budget will be spent on debt servicing, totaling N3.8 trillion. Of the N17.1 trillion budget, N6.9 trillion is budgeted for recurrent expenditure, N5.4 trillion is budgeted for capital expenditure.

The breakdown shows that domestic debts servicing will gulp N2.5 trillion, foreign debts will take N1.1 trillion, N2.70 billion will be spent on sinking funds for loans. A Sinking Fund is set aside to pay off a debt or bond in the lead up to a bond’s maturity.

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Sadly, the budget will be financed by debts, detailing the increasing inability of the country to finance its country’s financial demands.

According to the details of the appropriation bill, Nigeria’s expected revenue inflow for 2022 stands at N10.7 Trillion, this would mean that the country would need to borrow about N6.4 Trillion to finance the 2022 budget.

In context, Nigeria will be spending an equivalent of 70% of its capital expenditure on debt servicing.

Going by what’s in the 2022 budget, the seat of power will spend N402.2 million on maintenance of office equipment, furniture, buildings, vehicles, generators and others.

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are to spend N3. 087 billion on travels within and outside the country this year. The President plans to spend N2. 309 billion on travels, while the vice President was allocated N778. 2 million for the same purpose.

The budget showed that the President would spend N1. 533 billion on his foreign travels and N775. 602 million locally.

Vice President Osinbajo is expected to spend N476 million on foreign travels and N301.964 million on his travels within the country.

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Budgetary provisions for the president and his vice, captured above do not include the travel budget of N162. 253 million made for the State House Headquarters, which includes other workers in the seat of power.

It also showed that the President would spend N301 million on foods and catering, while his Honorarium and Sitting Allowance was allocated N174. 176 million.

His cost of utilities for the year was pegged at N503 million, covering electricity charges, telephone, internet access, water rates and sewage charges.

According to the breakdown, office stationeries/computer consumables as well as books, newspapers, magazines, printing of documents, drugs and medical supplies would cost N470.4 million.

N168.2 million has been provided for his office stationeries/computer consumables, books, newspapers, magazines, printing of documents, drugs and medical supplies.

The Vice President was allocated N156.662 million for food stuff and catering services, as well as N20.26 million for meals and refreshments for his functions.

The ongoing construction of the Presidential Wing of the State House Medical Centre was allocated N21.974 billion, while the center itself was allocated a separate N687 million

Some high allocations made for organizations under the Presidency in the budget included N54. 050 billion for National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which was allocated N31.350 billion, which the National Agricultural Land development Agency (NALDA) which got N 8.960 billion.