From Uche Usim, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has proposed to spend N2,490,658,599 on state house clinic, salary, sewage, electricity charges and internet access in 2022.
A breakdown of the aforementioned budget shows that the chunk of it, N1,346,707,871 goes to salary payment. State house clinic is expected to gulp N687,425,876, while N35,418,735 is for sewage charges. N354,000,000 will be spent on electricity charges and N67,106,117 on internet access.
Also in the budget is N8,580,741 that will be spent on books, N40,684,950 on water rates, N26,432,346 on newspapers, N3,511,909 on magazine and periodicals and N87,067,986 on other maintenance.
N1,600,000,000 will be spent on phased replacement of vehicles and spares.
Meanwhile, experts have hailed the N16.39 trillion 2022 budget’s timeliness and benchmarks, describing them as realistic.
The oil benchmark for the 2022 appropriation is $57 per barrel, while the exchange rate is N410.5 per dollar in the budget proposal titled, “Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability”.
The budget is projected to stimulate GDP growth by 4.2 per cent, while inflation rate is put at 13 per cent.
It is projected oil production will be at 1.88m barrels per day including condensates, while the budget deficit is estimated at N6.23 trillion.
Commenting on the appropriation bill, Nigeria’s first professor of the capital market and former Imo State Finance Commissioner, Prof Uche Uwaleke expressed hopes that the National Assembly will conclude work on it before the end of the year to enable implementation to commence in January following the President’s assent.
“Indeed, the mending of the hitherto broken budget year is a major achievement by this administration. I think the budget benchmarks are largely realistic with respect to crude oil price of $57, exchange rate of circa N410 and real GDP growth rate of 4.2%”, he said.
Prof Uwaleke, however, picked holes with the inflation rate of 13%, saying it does not appear realistic considering the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) requiring the complete removal of fuel subsidy.
He added: “As the President admitted, the concern about increasing deficit financing through borrowing is justified. The consolation however is that all new borrowings are tied to critical projects. It’s equally noteworthy that the government has made provision for use of Green bonds as well as PPP arrangements in financing infrastructure”, he told Daily Sun.
While presenting the budget on Thursday, President Buhari prioritised defence and internal security, adding that his administration remained resolute to securing lives, property and investment nationwide.
“We will continue to ensure that our gallant men and women in the armed forces, police and paramilitary units are properly equipped, remunerated and well-motivated. “The 2022 budget is also the first in our history, where MDAs were clearly advised on gender responsive budgeting. These are part of critical steps in our efforts to distribute resources fairly and reach vulnerable groups of our society”, the President noted.