On October 7th, 2022, Muhammadu Buhari presented his final annual budget as the president of Nigeria.
He proposed a bill of ₦20.51 trillion to the National Assembly in a long speech that surprisingly didn’t put us to sleep. Here are the things we learnt from his presentation of the 2023 budget.
Buhari is proud of his achievements
Buhari has only seven months left until the end of his eight-year reign as Nigeria’s president, so it’s expected that he’d be in a reflective mood.
He travelled down memory lane to talk about his supposed achievements in the areas of infrastructure and good governance.
He also talked about his government’s “impressive” investment in improving Nigeria’s power generation to 4,000 megawatts. Let’s not forget that this figure is serving a country of over 200 million people.
Buhari wants your taxes
“Bring before me all your taxes so I can afford a medical trip to London“
Nigeria wants to be a baller, but it’s currently on a mechanic’s income, and Buhari doesn’t like that so much. The president described revenue shortfall as the “greatest threat to Nigeria’s fiscal viability”.
And his most prominent solution for addressing that is checking inside the pockets of Nigerians to collect taxes, but sapa has already beaten the government to it.
Everyone is worried about crude oil theft
One of the main causes of Nigeria’s revenue shortfall is decreased earnings from crude oil which is the nation’s main source of income. This decrease is due to the activities of oil thieves who are lining their personal pockets with resources that belong to everyone.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, described the thieves as “the worst enemy of Nigeria” in his opening speech. We don’t know if that’s because he really cares about Nigerians or because the situation potentially puts his own jumbo allowances in jeopardy.
Buhari and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, also raised concerns about the theft. We just didn’t hear them propose concrete solutions to stop the stealing.
Buhari isn’t worried about Nigeria’s gbese
Even though Nigeria isn’t making as much as it needs, and is using much of its meagre revenue to service heavy debt, Buhari still isn’t worried.
With Nigeria’s total public debt at ₦42.9 trillion, Buhari considers Nigeria’s position as within acceptable limits compared to other countries. So, he thinks this is an “I better pass my neighbour” situation even if both neighbours are stranded in a sinking boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
In Buhari’s proposal, Nigeria will even borrow an additional ₦8.8 trillion to finance the 2023 budget.
ASUU strikes are forever?
Nigerian students have been sitting at home for eight months due to the strike action by university lecturers over the government’s failure to respect agreements made several years ago.
Students watching Buhari’s 2023 budget presentation wouldn’t have been too pleased to hear the president say his government won’t sign any agreements it can’t implement due to scarce resources.
The president proposed that the government and the people jointly share the cost of education and build a more sustainable system. He didn’t elaborate on how this can happen, but you can imagine it won’t be his problem for much longer.
Buhari has set a standard
Before Buhari became president, Nigeria’s budget presentation and passage used to be chaotic, especially with timelines. But this is the third consecutive year that a national budget will be signed before the beginning of the year it’s proposed for. The timely passage of the budget helps better with implementation and fosters a healthy process. It’s not much, but it’s not nothing. Sai Baba, maybe?
Buhari loves his National Assembly bromance
In his final budget presentation, Buhari didn’t miss the opportunity to note that he’s enjoyed the massive support of the current National Assembly for his second term in office.
Critics have called them a rubber stamp assembly for being yes-men to Buhari, but the president, who loved getting their many yeses, gave them a shoutout before he dropped the mic.