Speaking the ministerial presentation of the 2023 draft budget yesterday, minister of finance, budget and national planning Zainab Ahmed disclosed that federal government’s total debt to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through ways and means currently stands at N20 trillion. The minister said she now has President Buhari’s approval “to securitise, then the securitisation will be over a 40-year period with interest rate of nine per cent but over the years we have been paying the interest component at current rate that is charged on the Ways and Means.” 2022 budget performance Mrs Ahmed gave a breakdown of the performance of the 2022 national budget up to August this year. Official figures showed that as of August 2022, federal government’s retained revenue was N4.23 trillion, 64 per cent of the prorata target of N6.65 trillion. The government’s share of oil revenues was N395.06 billion (representing 27.1 per cent performance), while non-oil tax revenues totalled N1,549.91 billion – a performance of 102.9 per cent. Company income tax and value added tax collections were N826.27 billion and N210.36 billion, representing 136.3 per cent and 99.6 per cent of their respective targets. The aggregate expenditure for 2022 is estimated at N17.32 trillion, with a prorata spending target of N11.55 trillion at the end of August. The actual spending as of August 31 was N9.56 trillion. Of this amount, N3.52 trillion was for debt service, and N2.89 trillion for personnel costs, including pensions. N1.78 billion was released for capital expenditure. The fiscal deficit for 2022 is estimated at N7.35 trillion. The N5.33 trillion deficit as at August is N430.82 billion above the prorate level. The level of borrowing is N1.26 trillion ahead of the July target. 2023 revenue expectation Meanwhile, the federal government has said it will generate 80 percent of the total revenue for the 2023 budget from non-oil sources, while 20 per cent of projected revenues is expected from oil-related sources. The total revenue available to fund the 2023 the budget is estimated at N9.73 trillion. That includes the gross revenues of 63 government-owned enterprises totaling N3.48 trillion. Federal government oil revenue share is projected at N1.92 trillion, non-oil taxes are estimated at N2.43 trillion, and government independent revenues are projected to be N2.21 trillion. Other revenues total N762 billion. The GOEs are expected to remit N1.06 trillion to government’s consolidated revenue fund, and retain N2.42 trillion for their expenditures and reserves. Expenditure The 2022 aggregate expenditure (inclusive of GOEs and project-tied Loans) in the proposed budget is projected to be N20.51 trillion, which is 18.4 percent higher than the amended 2022 Budget. The government would be spending N6.31 trillion or 30.8 percent of total expenditure on debt service in 2023. This is 71.2 percent higher than 2022 estimate as it includes interest payment of N1.2 trillion for Ways and Means. Recurrent (non-debt) spending, estimated to amount to N8.47 trillion, inclusive of N200 billion social investment programme. Aggregate capital expenditure of N5.34 trillion is 26 per cent of total expenditure; and 8.8 percent lower than the 2022 Budget (inclusive of capital component of statutory transfers, GOEs capital & project-tied loans expenditures).

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigeria Startups Bills into law to improve the innovation in information technology and communications (ICT) in the country.

The minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami disclosed this  to State House correspondents yesterday after meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, in recognition of the efforts of the Nigeria government in the Information Communication Technology, ICT, Microsoft has decided to train about five million Nigerians on high demands skills geared towards job creation.

The government has also set up N10 billion Investment Fund for young innovators and also makes provision for incentives and tax holidays to encourage local innovators.

Pantami said the ICT contributed 18.42 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP this year alone, while the entire contribution of Communication and Digital Economy was 40 per cent.


He explained that the new Act was an Executive Bill initiated by President Buhari through the the collaboration of the minister of Communication and Digital Economy and the Office of the Chief of Staff to the president.

The minister explained that, before the passage of the bill, young innovators from the six geo-political zones of the country were engaged, adding that the Act provides the legal and strategic framework for the innovators to make their contributions to the country.

He said that out of the seven unicorns in Africa, five are from Nigeria, adding that a market value of each unicorn worths $1billion.

A unicorn, he explained, is a privately held startup company valued at over US$1 billion.

The minister said there will be a Presidential Council on Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship to be chaired by the President, while the Vice President serves as the vice chairman.

The council, he further said would have membership from the government and private sectors as well as representatives from the academia.

The council under the chairmanship of the President would help to curb the incessant harassment of the youths with laptops computers by the security agencies who are always tagged as ‘yahoo yahoo boys,’ Pantami said.

The minister also disclosed that Microsoft has agreed to train five millions Nigerians in high demand cutting edge technology skills.

“It is during the event that we concluded our discussion with Microsoft that they will come to Nigeria and train five million citizens on high demand and cutting edge skill in the digital sector. Five million Nigerians and this is one of their corporate social responsibilities.

“Even today (Wednesday), before I came here, I signed a letter conveyed to Microsoft the proposed date for the commencement of the training. So for you to get that opportunity for 5 million Nigerians to train. I know those basic digital skills are in high demand they partook in an investigation evaluation they discovered areas where there were opportunities globally. So the forecast where there is job before that, our citizens will be trained in this area.

“These are only few of the major achievements in addition to many more. At the international level, our modest effort in Nigeria in the digital economy sector was appreciated. I had a parliament with the ministers and other high government officials all over the world. I was called upon and I was presented an award without any prior knowledge about it. And there and then, they commended the effort of Nigeria in the digital economic sector.”

He further announced that about 29 Nigerians participated in a digital Innovation, Gitex programme in Dubai and defeated other countries to emerge winners.

“There were many participants from Europe, Asia and from all the developed countries and we defeated them, and they (innovators) came from Nigeria, this is a successful story. Secondly, some of the young individuals we took from Nigeria, federal government sponsored eight of them.

“Then the organiser there’s also sponsored four, and Lagos state government sponsored 15. Among some of them that I met, the first day of the event a company signed an MOU with them to invest $20 million in that startup,” the minister said.


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