The Federal Government of Nigeria has proposed to borrow over N11 trillion to finance the proposed 2023 budget deficit, a development far above the stipulated threshold in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, revealed this on Monday while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance to defend the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
She said the government’s budget deficit is expected to exceed N12.42 trillion if the Federal Government sustains the petroleum subsidy for the entire 2023 fiscal cycle.
Ahmed added that the two proposals have budget deficits far above the stipulated threshold in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The fiscal responsibility law provides a limit of 3 percent debt threshold for sustainability but the president can “exceed the ceiling if there is a clear and present threat to national security or sovereignty of Nigeria”.
In 2020, the federal government surpassed the fiscal borrowing threshold, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.