June 21, 2024

FG’s deficit spending rises 8% to N1.07trn


•As low exchange gain triggers 47% shortfall in revenue target

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The Federal Government’s deficit spending rose by 8.0 percent, year-on-year (YoY) to N1.07 trillion in January 2024 from N980 billion in January 2023.

The deficit spending in January was also 18.6 per cent higher than the amount provided for in the 2024 approved budget.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, disclosed this in its monthly Economic Report for January 2024.

The report however indicated month-on-month (MoM) decline of 3.4 percent in Federal Government’s deficit spending from N1.102 trillion in December 2023 following decline in spending on foreign debt service.

The CBN said: “The fiscal operations of the FGN in January resulted in a contraction in the fiscal deficit. The provisional fiscal deficit of the FGN, at N1.07 trillion, narrowed by 3.4 per cent relative to the preceding month, but was 18.6 per cent over the benchmark.

“The lower deficit, relative to the preceding month, reflected less spending on foreign debt service.”

The apex bank also said that low realisation in exchange gain and statutory allocations  triggered a   47 percent shortfall in the FG’s  January 2024 revenue target (N920 billion).

According to CBN, FG retained revenue fell YoY by 2.2 percent to N487.5 billion in January 2024 from N498.6 billion in December 2023.

Similarly, MoM, FG retained revenue declined by 1.7 percent from N495.8 billion in December 2023.

“FGN retained revenue declined, due to lower realisation in January 2024 exchange gain and statutory allocation.

“At N487.48 billion, provisional FGN retained revenue was 1.7 per cent lower than the collections in December 2023 and 47.0 per cent short of the monthly target.”

The report also showed a 4.7 percent YoY increase in FG expenditure to N1.55 trillion in January 2024 from N1.48 trillion in January 2023.

MoM, FG expenditure declined by 2.6 percent to N1.59 trillion in December 2023.

CBN said: “The provisional aggregate expenditure of the FGN declined, owing to lower recurrent expenditure.

“At N1.55 trillion, provisional expenditure was 2.8 per cent below the level in the preceding month and 14.6 per cent short of the projected spending of N1.82 trillion.

“The decline was attributed, largely to non-maturing debt obligations.

“Further analysis showed that recurrent expenditure accounted for 82.1 per cent of total expenditure, compared with 12.8 and 5.1 per cent for capital expenditure and transfers, respectively.”