Buhari Records N15.4 Trillion Fiscal Deficit as Defence Headquarters Celebrates 5,890 Terrorists Surrender

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

 

The Buhari administration has reportedly recorded a fiscal deficit of N15.35 trillion even as the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) is agog with jubilation over the surrender of 5,890 terrorists, including foot soldiers and their commanders in the North-East.

Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, who broke the news on Thursday said they surrendered with their families to soldiers fighting the counterterrorism war in that volatile axis of the country.

According to him, another 565 Boko Haram terrorists, comprising three Commanders, four Amirs, five Nakibs and five cattle rustling specialists, out of the surrendered BHTs and their family members were handed over to the Borno State Government, in Maiduguri, for further management after thorough profiling.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has been busy allaying the fears of Nigerians over the ongoing mass surrendering of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province ex-fighters, attributing the mass surrender to the ongoing intensive clearance operations being carried out by troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, to restore permanent peace in the zone.

Continuing, Onyeuko who was speaking at the Defence headquarters on updates of military operations, conducted between August 12 -September 2, across the country, said soldiers killed 48 terrorists in the period under review, arrested 20 others and destroyed their logistics base and facilities, including three gun trucks.

Other weapons recovered during the operations, according to him, include 52 assorted arms, 1,977 rounds of 7.62mm assorted calibre ammunition, including AK-47 and FN rifles with magazines, hand grenades, commando mortar guns, locally fabricated rifles, Dushka anti-aircraft guns, Dane guns and Nigerian Police rifles, among other items.

Adding, he said seven terrorists collaborators/informants and logistics suppliers were arrested and handed over to appropriate prosecuting agencies for necessary actions, while soldiers with support from the air component foiled terrorists attack in Borno.

While noting that military operations conducted across the country have continued to yield tremendous successes,he  said 15 armed bandits and two armed robbers were killed by soldiers on anti banditry operations, 13 bandits informants arrested, while 15 motorcycles and two AK 47 rifles recovered.

The Punch however, reports that within a three-year period covering July 2018 to June 2021, Abuja recorded a fiscal deficit of N15.35trillion. It quoted data from the Budget Office of the Federation to back the report.

While a fiscal deficit is a shortfall in a government’s income compared with its spending. The government that has a fiscal deficit is spending beyond its revenues, analysis of statistics from the Ministry of Finance by the newspaper showed that during the review period, the Buhari administration retained revenue stood at N12.79 trillion, while aggregate expenditure stood at N28.14 trillion.

During the review period, Abuja reportedly retained revenue stood at N12.79 trillion, while aggregate expenditure stood at N28.14 trillion, pointing out that the major sources of government revenue include oil revenue and non-oil revenue comprising of revenue from value added tax, company income tax, stamp duty and others.

A breakdown of the figures showed that in the second half of 2018, the administration generated N1.78 trillion as revenue and spent a total of N3.75 trillion, resulting in a fiscal deficit of N1.97 trillion. For the 2019 fiscal period, aggregate revenue generated in the first half of the year stood atN2.78trillion but fell to N2.47trillion in the second half.

Continuing, the report says the expenditure incurred was N3.67trillion in first half of 2019 and N4.91trillion in its second half, creating a fiscal deficit of N89 billion and N2.44trillion in both halves of the year respectively.

Further analysis revealed that the Buhari administration in 2020 earned N3.53trillion as aggregate revenue and spent N10trillion, creating a fiscal deficit of N6.52trillion, and that the N3.53trillion revenue generated in 2020 comprised of N1.76trillion recorded in first half and N1.77trillion in the second half.

Aggregate expenditure of N10billion showed that N4.69trillion was incurred in the first half while N5.31trillion was spent in the second half.

The inability of the government to raise the much needed revenue to finance its operations resulted in a deficit of N1.37trillion in the first quarter while the second, third and fourth quarter deficits were put at N1.54trillion, N1.74trillion and N1.86trillion respectively.

The Overview of 2022 FGN Budget Call Circular report, the federal government’s retained revenue for the first half of this 2021 was N2.23trillion, which represented a N1.07trillion shortfall of the prorated target of N3.3trillion for the review period.

The total revenue comprises oil revenue of N492.44billion, non-oil tax revenue of N778.18billion. The non-oil revenue is made up of Company Income Tax of N397.02billion, Value Added Tax of N129billion and Customs collections of N234.02billion.

The newspaper says other revenues amounted to N922.09billion, of which independent revenues were N558.13billion, and on the expenditure side, N5.81trillion was spent during the period under review comprising N2.02trillion used for debt service, N1.795trillion for personnel cost, including pensions and N1.3trillion released for capital expenditure.

With an expenditure of N5.81trillion and aggregate revenue of N2.23trillion, the government recorded a fiscal deficit of N3.58trillion in the first half of the 2021 fiscal period.

 

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