Ben Akabueze, the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, has said that the proposed N27.5 trillion budget for 2024 awaiting approval in the National Assembly is deemed “too small” to adequately address Nigeria’s economic needs.
However, he recognizes the government’s commitment to fiscal responsibility in aligning expenses with available resources.
Akabueze made this statement while speaking in an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday.
He stated that the budgetary allocation is rather conservative compared to the economic obligations of the government.
“I’m always first to acknowledge that the budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria is way too small relative to our needs and our requirements but it is now a case of cutting out coats according to our cloth rather than our size,
“The reason this budget is this small is because our public revenues are also too small. We also need to keep the focus on that,” Akabueze noted.
Speaking on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projection of Nigeria’s economic growth rate, the DG said the IMF assessment is not completely based on the economic facts of the country, adding that the government protection is more reasonable than that of the international financial institution.
Recall that President Tinubu said during the budget presentation that he projects a 3.76% growth rate in the 2024 fiscal year. The president also announced N18.32 trillion revenue target for 2024 budget funding.
Meanwhile, the Washington-based lender had projected that the country’s economy would grow at 3.1% in 2024.
Responding to the development, Akabueze said that the President’s projection, although it seems ambitious, is more reasonable than that of the IMF, adding that IMF has got the prediction wrong in the last four years.
“In the last four years, IMF has got it wrong about our projections.
“Organisations can’t get it right better than the people who have direct responsibility for managing their individual economies.
“Our actual growth has always beat their projections,” he added.
What you should know
Last week, President Bola Tinubu presented a N27.5 trillion 2024 budget proposal to the National Assembly.
The budget has a total aggregate revenue projection of N18.32 trillion and a deficit of N9.18 trillion.
The fiscal document proposes capital expenditure of N8.7 trillion and recurrent, of N18.51 trillion.
According to the President, the economy is expected to grow by 3.76%, while “inflation is expected to moderate to 21.4% in 2024”.
Speaking on the budget proposal, the Budget Office director general asserted that the 2024 budget estimates, as laid out in the appropriation bill, prioritize the well-being of the Impoverished, with a focus on healthcare, security, education, and the economy.
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I am a journalist and a political and socioeconomic analyst currently employed at Nairametrics. I pride myself on being a skilled wordsmith with a passion for delving into contemporary political issues on both a national and international scale. Additionally, I contribute research-based columns and op-eds to national publications.