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Senate Leader faults N9.9tr recurrent expenditure in 2024 budget



The Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, said on Thursday the N9.9 trillion set aside as recurrent expenditure in the 2024 budget was too high.

Bamidele stated this at the opening of the debate on general principles of the budget at the plenary in Abuja.

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday presented the 2024 budget estimate of N27.5 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The N9.9 trillion set aside as recurrent spending constitutes 43 percent of the total budget.

The Senate leader said the total fiscal operations of the Federal Government would result in an N9.8 trillion deficit or 3.88 percent of the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

This, according to him, was above the three percent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

He listed highlights of the budget including an oil price benchmark of 77.96 dollars per barrel, a daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day, and an exchange rate of N750 per dollar.

READ ALSO: Tinubu’s 2024 budget lacks detailed plans for economic revival – PDP

He said: “Based on the fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federally-collectible revenue was N16.87 trillion in the budget, while total federally distributable revenue is N11.09 trillion

“The total revenue available to fund the 2024 budget is N9.73 trillion, which included revenues from 63 government-owned enterprises, while oil revenue is projected at N1.92 trillion, with non-oil taxes at N2.43 trillion among others.

“To finance the deficit will result in new borrowings totaling N7.83 trillion in addition to N294.49 billion expected from privatization.

“But let me state here that the debt level of the federal government is still within sustainable limits.

“Very importantly, these loans are used to finance critical development projects and programmes aimed at improving our economic environment and ensuring effective delivery of public services to our people.”

On his part, Senator Osita Ngwu said President Bola Tinubu had fulfilled his promises by capturing food security, and poverty alleviation in the budget.

He, however, stressed the need to review the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to ramp up of oil production in the country.

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