The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze has stated that Nigeria’s government expenditure is among the lowest in the world.
The Director-General made the statement during a chat with journalists and representatives of civil society organisations on Friday in Abuja.
While presenting a breakdown of the 2022 budget proposal which stands at N16.39tn, Akabueze said the Federal Government’s borrowing plan was necessary because its revenue was too low.
He said, “It is absolutely critical that we fix our revenue challenge because oftentimes people just say cut expenditure. The truth is cutting expenditure is not currently a viable option for two main reasons. Number one, our public expenditure to GDP ratio is about the lowest even on the continent of Africa.
“As a country, our public expenditure to GDP ratio is under 15 per cent. Even on the continent of Africa, that ratio, the average is over 30 per cent. The global average is over 30 per cent. I am talking of the whole of government – federal, state and local governments. The reality is that in aggregate, governments in Nigeria are not spending too much, they are actually spending too little.
“So, the solution is not to cut government spending. The solution is to make government spending more efficient and actually increase the scope for the government to be able to spend more because our public expenditure to GDP is so low, that is why the delivery of public goods and services is weak.”