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Federal Government Recorded N3.2trn Deficit In 2016, Says Central Bank

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Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Federal Government recorded a fiscal deficit of N3.21tn in its operations last year, figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed.

The figures are contained in the Financial Stability Report prepared the apex and released in Abuja on Wednesday.

It stated that the fiscal deficit for the second half of the year, which was put at N1.47tn, was lower than the N1.75tn recorded in the first half of 2016.

These figures, according to the report, are also higher than the budgeted deficit of N1.1tn provided for in the second half of 2016.

The deficit, according to the CBN report, was financed through domestic sources, including issuance of government securities.

The apex bank said the fiscal stance of increased spending to address the challenges of the negative growth (recession) led to higher government expenditure in the second half of 2016.

For instance, it said the Federal Government expenditure grew by 10.3 per cent to N4.02tn in the second half, noting that this was above the N3.65tn in the first half of 2016.

It added that the expenditure figure of N4.02tn was also higher than the budgeted expenditure of N3.12tn for the second half of the year under review.

The report explained that the recurrent expenditure component of the total expenditure accounted for N3.46tn, representing 86.9 per cent; while the capital and statutory transfer components accounted for N264.9bn or 6.6 per cent and N263.4bn or 6.5 per cent, respectively.

The report stated that the Federal Government’s retained revenue for the second half of 2016 increased to N2.55tn, above the N1.89tn recorded in the first half and the half-year budget estimate of N2.2tn.

The increase in the retained revenue relative to the first half, it added, was due to increase in non-oil receipts.

A breakdown of the retained revenue showed that the Federal Government’s share of the Federation Account was N1.26tn or 49.4 per cent; Value Added Tax Pool Account, N90.7bn or 3.5 per cent; while the Federal Government Independent Revenue was put at N267.8bn or 10.5 per cent.

The report put the Federal Government’s share of the Excess Crude Account at N141.4bn (5.5 per cent); exchange gain, N316.4bn (12.4 per cent); while others, including Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation refunds, accounted for the balance of N479.3bn or 18.7 per cent.              (Punchng.com)

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