The Federal Government’s fiscal deficit rose from N491.28bn in March to N643.09bn in April, according to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The banking regulator’s April economic report stated that, “The 14.3 per cent increase in FGN retained revenue was offset by the 23.8 per cent rise in public spending, leading to an expansion of the fiscal deficit. At N643.09bn, the provisional fiscal deficit of the FGN was 30.9 per cent above the level in the preceding month.”
According to the report, fiscal conditions remained challenging in April 2022 despite higher revenue outcomes.
Provisional federally collected revenue rose by 66.3 per cent relative to the level in March but fell short of the budget by 14.7 per cent.
FGN retained revenue increased by 14.3 per cent but was offset by a 23.8 per cent rise in total expenditure, resulting in a 30.9 per cent expansion in the overall deficit.
The debt profile of the FGN remained elevated, as government incurred new borrowings to part-finance the deficit in the 2022 budget. However, the debt stock was within the FGN’s medium-term debt strategy.
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According to the report, provisional federally collected revenue performance was boosted by enhanced oil receipts, improved economic activities and the seasonality effect associated with income tax receipts.
At N1.3tn, federation receipts rose by 66.3 per cent, compared with the preceding month but fell below the budget benchmark by 14.7 per cent.
The increase was, largely, attributed to the higher receipts from Petroleum Profit Tax & royalty and corporate tax.
In terms of share, non-oil revenue maintained its dominance of gross federation receipts, accounting for 65.6 per cent, while oil revenue constituted the balance of 34.4 per cent.
Further analysis showed that oil revenue, at N450.06bn, was above the level in the preceding month by 72.5 per cent, but below the prorated budget by 43.2 per cent.
The increase in oil revenue was ascribed to increased earnings from PPT & royalty, reflecting an uptick in oil prices in the international market.
Similarly, non-oil receipts at N857.68bn, was above the earnings in March and the prorated budget by 63.3 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively.
The surge in non-oil revenue was attributed to the three-fold rise in corporate tax, reflecting the seasonality effect of corporate tax collection as the deadline for companies to file in their returns approached.
The sum of N725.57bn, 22.9 per cent above the N590.55bn disbursed in March, was distributed to the three tiers of government after statutory deductions and transfers.