The federal government’s personnel cost has risen from N1.8 trillion to N2.1 trillion, even without the full implementation of the payment of the new minimum wage, BudgIT, a public finance data mining hub, has revealed.
Personnel cost is the total remuneration for public officials in cash or in kind, payable to them in return for work done during a reference period.
BudgIT also disclosed that a total of N2.09 trillion spent by the federal government on debt service in 2018 was the highest ever spent on such line item, adding that “this is getting scary.”
In series of tweets on its official Twitter handle ‘@BudgITng’, the organisation said: “In 2018, FG (federal government) spent N2.09tn on servicing public debts. This grew from N1.63tn in 2017. FG is spending so much on servicing debt and it plans to borrow more.
“Total recurrent expenditure shot up to N5.39tn in 2018, a N800bn growth in a year without new minimum wage implementation.
“FG claims spending N1.65tn on capital expenditure in 2018. However, we will be asking for details for public accountability.
“FG borrowed N1.74tn in 2018 and sources for additional deficit (borrowing) of N1.90tn were not stated. Who is your guess that has covered the shortfall?”
The federal government, it added, spent N7.51 trillion based on a revenue of N3.86 trillion, creating a deficit of N3.64 trillion.
According to BudgIT, although the government recorded a revenue of N3.86 trillion, it spent N5.86 trillion on recurrent expenditure, meaning that N2 trillion was borrowed to fund recurrent expenses.
“A sum of N329bn was utilised for power, works & housing projects, N139bn for transport projects, N52bn for health projects, N47bn for education projects, N71bn for water resources and N135bn for agriculture projects. Health and education still poorly invested in.
“It is clear that Nigeria has a huge revenue problem and the current pace of recurrent expenditure is not sustainable.
“We need more details on N1.65tn capital expenditure in a year. We will follow up with FOI.
“It’s abnormal for a country to spend 50-60 percent of revenue on debt servicing. Our revenue is abysmally low and we are not efficient on the expenditure side,” BudgIT added.
Budget March 19, 2020