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President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2023 appropriation bill of N21.83 trillion into law.

This is the eighth and final annual budget of the incumbent administration.

Buhari also signed the 2022 supplementary appropriation bill of N819 billion into law at an event at the state house on Tuesday.

Ahmad Lawan, president of the senate, and Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, were some of the government officials who witnessed the budget signing.

Speaking at the event, Buhari said the 2023 budget provides for aggregate expenditures of N21.83 trillion, an increase of N1.32 trillion over the initial executive proposal for a total expenditure of N20.51 trillion.

He said the minister of finance, budget and national planning would subsequently provide more details of the approved budget and the supporting 2022 finance act.

”We have examined the changes made by the national assembly to the 2023 executive budget proposal,” a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesperson, quoted him as saying.

”The amended fiscal framework for 2023 as approved by the national assembly shows additional revenues of N765.79 billion, and an unfunded deficit of N553.46 billion.

”It is clear that the national assembly and the executive need to capture some of the proposed additional revenue sources in the fiscal framework. This must be rectified.

”I have also noted that the national assembly introduced new projects into the 2023 budget proposal for which it has appropriated N770.72 billion.

“The national assembly also increased the provisions made by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) by N58.55 billion.”

Buhari said his decision to sign the 2023 appropriation bill into law as passed by the national assembly was to enable its implementation commence without delay, considering the imminent transition process to another democratically elected government.

He, however, directed the minister of finance, budget and national planning to engage with the legislature to revisit some of the changes made to the executive budget proposal, expressing the hope that the national assembly will cooperate with the executive arm of government in this regard.

BUHARI SEEKS APPROVAL FOR RESTRUCTURING OF N23.7 TRILLION CBN LOANS

Also speaking, Buhari appealed to the national assembly to reconsider its position on his proposal to securitise the federal government’s outstanding ways and means balance at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He explained that failure to grant approval for the securitisation would cost the federal government an additional interest of N1.8 trillion in 2023.

”As I stated, the balance has accumulated over several years and represents funding provided by the CBN as lender of last resort to the government to enable it to meet obligations to lenders, as well as cover budgetary shortfalls in projected revenues and/or borrowings,” Buhari said.

”I have no intention to fetter the right of the national assembly to interrogate the composition of this balance, which can still be done even after granting the requested approval.

”Failure to grant the securitisation approval will, however, cost the government about N1.8 trillion in additional interest in 2023 given the differential between the applicable interest rates which is currently MPR plus 3 percent and the negotiated interest rate of 9 percent and a 40 year repayment period on the securitised debt of the ways and means.”

REVIEW OF FINANCE BILL YET TO BE FINALISED

On the 2022 finance bill, Buhari expressed regret that its review as passed by the national assembly is yet to be finalised.

”This is because some of the changes made by the national assembly need to be reviewed by the relevant agencies of government. I urge that this should be done speedily to enable me to assent into law,” Buhari said.

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