Nigeria: National Assembly Passes N21.8trn 2023 Budget

The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the 2023 appropriation bill at N21.83 trillion, an increase of N1.32 trillion from the N20.51 trillion budget proposal of President Muhammadu Buhari.

A breakdown of the budget indicates an allocation of N967.5 billion for statutory transfers, N6.6 trillion for debt servicing, N8.3 trillion for recurrent expenditure, and N5.9 trillion for capital expenditure.

The 2023 Appropriation Bill was deferred last week over what the Senate President described as problems discovered in it. As the 9th National Assembly passed its final appropriation bill hopeful of maintaining the January-to-December budget cycle, Senate President Ahmad Lawan had a word for the executive arm.

“I want to take this opportunity to ask the executive arm of government to implement the 2022 Appropriation Act. We have also passed the Supplementary Budget for 2022. We expect total implementation – no selective implementation,” he said.

The 2023 budget of N21.83 trillion maintained the recurrent expenditure at approximately N8.27 trillion, while capital expenditure increased from N5.35 trillion to N5.9 trillion and debt servicing also increased from N6.31 trillion to N6.6 trillion.

Some key capital allocations include the N285 billion to the Federal Ministry of Defence, N134.9 billion to the Federal Ministry of Health, N195.5 billion to the Federal Ministry of Power and N153.7 billion to the Federal Ministry of Education.

The House of Representatives had helped resolve the eight-month strike by university lecturers earlier this year by making commitments to improve their welfare packages and make available revitalisation funds to improve the infrastructure and operations of federal universities.

The Tertiary Institutions Revitalisation Fund of N300 billion and salary renegotiation of N170 billion have been captured in the 2023 Appropriation Bill, while N10.2 billion has also been provided for the universities pension, including arrears.

Buhari has three days to sign the 2023 budget to maintain the Janaury 1st to December 31st budget cycle reintroduced by the 9th Assembly.

Earlier, lawmakers attended to the request for the implementation of the 2022 budget, which they extended from December 31st, 2022 to March 31st, 2023. The purpose of the extension, according to them, is to ensure the implementation of key capital projects in the Act which have yet to be funded.

Both chambers went on to pass the 2022 Supplementary Budget of N819.5 billion as requested by Buhari.