The Federal Government recorded a fiscal deficit of N289.1bn in its operations in the fourth quarter of 2015, figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed.
The figures, contained in the economic report of the apex bank, a released in Abuja on Tuesday, stated that the fiscal deficit for the fourth quarter was N158.4bn higher than the N130.7bn recorded in the preceding quarter.
The report stated that the Federal Government could not generate enough revenue to finance its expenditure as a result of some economic challenges.
For instance, it noted that during the fourth quarter of 2015, a total of N818.4bn was generated as revenue by the government, while about N1.1tn was spent to finance various programmes.
A breakdown of the total expenditure showed that the recurrent component accounted for 59.6 per cent or N655bn, while capital and statutory transfer components accounted for 31.8 or N349.8bn and 8.6 per cent or N94.6bn, respectively.
A further breakdown of the recurrent expenditure showed that non-debt expenditure accounted for 65.7 per cent or N430.3bn, while debt service payments accounted for the balance of N224.6bn or 34.3 per cent.
The report read in part, “At N1.10trillion, provisional data showed that the Federal Government expenditure for the fourth quarter of 2015 was lower than both the provisional quarterly budget estimate and the level in the preceding quarter by 6.9 and 5.8 per cent, respectively.
“The development, relative to the quarterly budget estimate, was attributed mainly to the rise in capital expenditure. A breakdown of the total expenditure showed that the recurrent component accounted for 59.6 per cent, while the capital and statutory transfer components accounted for 31.8 and 8.6 per cent, respectively.”
The report added, “A further breakdown of the recurrent expenditure showed that the non-debt component accounted for 65.7 per cent, while debt service payments accounted for the balance of 34.3 per cent.
“Thus, the fiscal operations of the Federal Government resulted in a deficit of N289.12bn, compared with the 2015 provisional quarterly budget deficit of N260.25bn.”
In terms of allocation, the report stated that the total allocation to state governments stood at N413.24bn in the fourth quarter.
Further breakdown of the N413.24bn showed that receipts from the Federation Account was N327.90bn (79.4 per cent), while Value Added Tax contributed N85.33bn (20.6 per cent).
It stated that the share of the Federation Account was 17.1 per cent lower than the level in the preceding quarter, while receipts from the VAT Pool Account was also 12 per cent lower than what it was in the preceding quarter.