By Providence Ayanfeoluwa
Worried by the rising budget deficit, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, has proffered some long term solutions at its annual symposium focusing on the 2023 Appropriation Bill which harbored a fiscal deficit of N10.78 trillion, representing 4.78 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
In his presentation at the symposium, the Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PwC, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, recommended that the only way forward was to implement an integrated revenue, spending and debt management strategy.
Oyedele who said Nigeria needs to budget better and spend more efficiently, posited that government at all levels need to prioritize spending to tackle poverty by providing basic amenities.
He stated: “For instance, access roads to farms should be prioritized over flyovers in the cities, and healthcare centres and schools over airports’’.
He stated further: ‘‘Nigeria’s rising debt profile is a symptom of underlining problems (low revenue and high spending); Nigeria is borrowing for debt service, capital expenditure and partly to fund recurrent expenses; Questions around zero-based budgeting, budget revision, accounting for variances, budget performance.
Earlier, President of ICAN, Alhaji Tijjani Isa, said that past editions of the institute’s budget symposium had developed recommendations that significantly impacted the country’s fiscal infrastructure and provided useful guidance for an effective and efficient budget system.