Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, has said that the nation’s 2019 budget has a funding gap of N102.83 billion.
The minister said that the increase was as a result of the additions made by the National Assembly.
He said this during the public presentation of the approved 2019 budget on Tuesday in Abuja.
The 2019 Appropriation Bill was presented to NASS by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 19, 2018, passed by NASS and transmitted to the President on May 9 and signed into law on Monday.
Udoma said that by increasing the size of the budget and reducing proposed borrowing, NASS created the unfunded deficit.
“Executive revenue assumptions were generally approved and adopted by NASS, except for unexplained increases totalling N31.5 billion on some non-oil revenue lines.
“NASS increased the budget size from N8.83 trillion to N8.92 trillion translating to an increase of N90.33 billion.
“This has resulted in an overall increase of N58.83 billion in deficit. Inexplicably, NASS reduced the proposed borrowing from N1.649 trillion to N1.605 trillion, thus creating an overall unfunded deficit of N102.83 billion.
“To fully fund the budget, the level of borrowing may, therefore, have to increase.”
He said that the overall budget deficit was N1.918 trillion as against N1.859 trillion in the executive proposal, representing 1.37 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.
Udoma added that the deficit would be funded mainly by borrowing N1.605 trillion split equally between domestic and foreign borrowing.