Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the Minister of National Planning revealed yesterday that N386 billion recovered looted funds would form part of resources to finance the 2016 budget deficit.
He made this revealation while announcing details of the N6.06 trillion budget, with the Calabar-Lagos and Lagos -Kano rail lines taking combined allocations of N120 billion from the N1.75 trillion total capital budget, with each of the rail lines gulping N60 billion.
The Calabar-Lagos rail project was one of the major controversies between the Presidency and the National Assembly which led to muscle flexing, as President Muhammadu Buhari insisted it must be included before he would give his assent to the 2016 Appropriation Bill.
The N6.06 trillion 2016 budget outlay represents an increase of about 35 per cent over 2015 budget provision of N5.067 trillion. Deficit The Federal Government revenue projection was put at N3.855 trillion, leaving a fiscal deficit of N2.2 trillion which translates to 2.14 per cent of GDP.
Senator Udoma explained that the deficit to be financed largely through borrowings was within the limit of three per cent of the GDP, as stipulated by the Fiscal Act. The deficit is to be financed mainly by borrowings, projected at about N1.8 trillion, which would be sourced from the domestic market through bonds on the one hand and foreign loans on the other.
He said: “The borrowing is to be raised roughly equally from domestic and foreign sources. We have decided to source from international sources so as not to rely exclusively on domestic borrowing, which may have the effect of crowding out the private sector. “Furthermore, we are optimistic that we may be able to access some of the foreign loans on a concessionary basis.