2024 budget: We’re relying on revenue than borrowing, says Wale Edun

 


Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, says the federal government will rely less on borrowing and more on revenue to finance the 2024 budget.

 

Edun spoke to journalists on Monday after the N28 trillion 2024 budget was signed into law by President Bola Tinubu.

 

Speaking on the next move on the budget, the minister said immediate implementation would be carried out.

 

He added that the budget was focused on growing the economy.

 

 “The N28.8 trillion budget has been signed into law by Mr. President, so it’s immediate implementation and it’s a very hopeful budget,” Edun said.

 

“Those who are investors can come out and invest and even those who rely on the government, such as school children and the education sector, have a lot to benefit.

 

“But overall, the change in this budget is that it is focused on growing the economy. The capital expenditure is larger than the recurrent expenditure; over N10 trillion is going to be the capital expenditure, while recurrent is just about N8.8 trillion.

 

 “I think that shows the direction of travel, it shows that we can expect an economy rejuvenated, re-galvanized and set for growth.”

 

On the issue of financing, Edun said “sometimes we’ll have critical issues when it comes to the issue of financial shortfalls here”.

 

“The first thing to say is that it’s a lower budget deficit, so it’s a lower financing requirement and, as a percentage of GDP, the budget deficit is down from 6.1% to 3.8%,” he said.

 

“So we’re relying less on borrowing and more on revenue and I think you have to take the two together. I think we’re very optimistic about the improvements in revenue that will take place.”

 

On implementation, Edun said technology and digitalisation would be deployed to ensure the revenue that should come to the government from all sources, including from government-owned enterprises, comes into the consolidated revenue fund.

 

“We are bringing order to government borrowing, so ways and means is being eliminated by taking the funding that is required from the market, as opposed to from printing money by the Central Bank,” he said

 

“We are very optimistic that not only will this budget be funded adequately, but it will be funded on a timely basis as well.”

 

‘BUDGET INCREASED SPENDING IN ALL PRIORITY AREAS’

On his part, Atiku Bagudu, minister of budget and economic planning, said the budget has been developed to reflect the priorities of the president. 

 

“He was very clear with the warning to all ministries, departments and agencies that everyone will earn his pay, in terms of generating revenue and implementing the budget as passed into law. So this is a game changer,” he said.

 

 “So this is a budget that has increased spending in all priority areas. Between the MDAs and the statutory transfers, we are spending close to N11.4 trillion as capital expenditure, which is about 39% of the budget itself. I think this is almost the first, in a very long time in our history.”

 

Responding to the issues raised on the quick passage of the appropriation bill, Bagudu said “there was good understanding about what the challenges are, what the priorities are, and therefore it’s easy to conclude as to what we should do, and that’s what we have done”.

 

He also said Tinubu recognises the separation of powers, which is why there is a significant increase in funding to the judiciary.

 

Bagudu said the president wants to ensure that all three arms of government are well funded so that they can complement each other and deliver on the budget commitments.

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