By Emma Ujah
The federal government recorded a budget deficit to the tune of N2. 293 trillion in the first quarter of this year.
This is contained in the First Quarter (Q1) Budget Implementation Report (BIR) by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.
According to the report, “The revenue and expenditure outturn of the Federal Government resulted in a fiscal deficit of ₦2.293 trillion during the quarter (6.43 percent of the 2021 quarterly GDP).
“The first quarter deficit was ₦1.070 trillion (87.51 percent) higher than the projected quarterly fiscal deficit of ₦1.222 trillion. The 2021 fiscal deficit was also higher than the ₦1.377 trillion deficit recorded in the first quarter of 2020. The deficit was partly-financed through domestic borrowing of ₦550.0 billion.”
N1.1 trn revenue
The federal government total revenue stood at ₦1.091 trillion in the period under review.
This comprises ₦299.33 billion (27.43 percent) oil revenue and ₦792.09 billion (72.57 percent) non-oil revenue.
The amount received was ₦905.19 billion (45.34 percent) below the quarterly budget projection but ₦99.17 billion (9.99 percent) above the ₦992.25 billion reported in the first quarter of 2020
₦3.4 trn expenditure
On the expenditure side, the government spent the sum of at ₦3.384 trillion, representing ₦502.29 billion (17.43 percent) and ₦1.014 trillion (42.80 percent) above the ₦2.882 trillion quarterly projection and ₦2.370 trillion reported in the corresponding quarter of 2020, respectively.
A breakdown of the expenditure indicated that a total of ₦1.096 trillion was spent on non-debt recurrent expenditure in the first quarter of 2021. This represents a decrease of ₦313.99 billion (22.26 percent) and ₦50.79 billion (4.43 percent) below the quarterly estimate of ₦1.410 trillion and ₦1.147 trillion recorded in the first quarter of 2020 respectively. Statutory Transfers was ₦124.13 billion during the review period
A total of ₦384.52 billion was released and cash backed in the first quarter of 2021 for the implementation of 2021 capital projects and programmes of MDAs.
₦813b Debt Service
Total Debt Service in the first quarter of 2021 stood at ₦813.10 billion, indicating an increase of ₦32.01 billion (4.10 percent) above the ₦781.10 billion projected for the quarter.
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The sum of ₦581.27 billion was used for domestic debt servicing, while ₦231.83 billion was used for external debt service during the period under review.
The amount used for domestic debt servicing was ₦35.40 billion (6.48 percent) above the projection for the quarter.
The BIR showed that average oil production and lifting (including Condensates) in the first quarter of 2021 was 1.72mbpd and 1.51mbpd respectively.
It said, “Oil production was 0.14mbpd (7.53 percent) below the 1.86mbpd benchmark for the 2021 Budget. The volume of oil production in the period was also 0.12mbpd (7.69 percent) above the 1.56m bpd reported in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 0.38mbpd (18.45 percent) below the 2.06mbpd recorded in the first quarter of 2020.”
N3.9b trade deficit
Nigeria’s total merchandise trade in the first quarter of 2021 stood at N9.757 trillion, representing 6.99 percent and 14.13 percent increase when compared to the values recorded in fourth and first quarters of 2020 respectively.
The export component of this trade stood at N2.907 trillion, representing 29.79 percent of the total trade, while import was valued at N6.850 trillion, representing 70.21 percent. The higher level of imports over exports resulted in a trade deficit (in goods) of N3.943 trillion.
Oil accounts for 66.38 % export
The value of crude oil export stood at N1.929 trillion (66.38 percent) of the total export while non–crude oil export accounted for 33.62 percent of the total export recorded in the review period.