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    2023 budget: FG Alone Can’t Fund Education, says Buhari

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    By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

    President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday presented a record N20.51 trillion 2023 appropriation bill to the joint session of the national assembly.

    The budget is christened ‘Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Transition’.

    The national assembly had approved the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy paper (FSP) — parameters on which the 2023 budget will be framed.

    While presenting the details, Buhari said the 2023 transition budget was designed to address critical issues and lay a solid foundation for the incoming administration.

    He said that based on the parameters and fiscal assumptions, the revenue generation should hit about N16.87 trillion.

    A breakdown of the budget shows that N744.11 billion was earmarked for statutory transfers, N8.27 trillion for non-debt recurrent costs, N1.1 trillion for overhead costs, and N5.35 trillion for capital expenditure.

    “We expect the total fiscal operations of the federal government to result in a deficit of N10.78 trillion,” Buhari said.

    “This represents 4.78 percent of estimated GDP, slightly above the 3 percent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

    “As envisaged by the law, we need to exceed this threshold considering the need to continue to tackle the existential security challenges facing the country.”

    The president explained that the budget deficit will be financed mainly through borrowings.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Government has included N470 billion for revitalization and salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions in the 2023 budget.

    President Buhari who disclosed this during the budget presentation to a joint session of the National Assembly, noted “with dismay the crisis that has paralysed activities in the public universities in the country.”

    He stated that he “expected the staff of these institutions to show a better appreciation of the current state of affairs in the country. In the determined effort to resolve the issue, we have provided a total of 470.0 billion in the 2023 budget from our constrained resources, for revitalization and salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions.”

    Buhari also said it is instructive to note that the government alone cannot provide the resources required for funding tertiary education.

    “In most countries, the cost of education is jointly shared between the government and the people, especially at the tertiary level. It is imperative therefore that we introduce a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education.”

    “The government remains committed to the implementation of agreements reached with staff unions within available resources. This is why we have remained resolute that we will not sign any agreement that we would be unable to implement. Individual institutions would be encouraged to keep faith with any agreement reached in due course to ensure stability in the educational sector”, the President added. 

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