Govt spending too little, cutting it down not an option —Budget office

Contrary to the general belief that Nigeria is running a very expensive government, Ben Akabueze, the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation has declared Nigerian government as the most efficient in Africa.

He stated that the expenditure of government in Nigeria was very little and that Nigeria’s public expenditure to GDP ratio was lower compared to other African countries.

According to him, there was no plan and no need to cut down Nigeria’s public workforce because Federal government public expenditure to GDP ratio is lower compared to other African countries.

The Budget DG stated this during the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) 2021 Market Recap and Outlook for 2022 in collaboration with Rennaisance Capital held virtually in Lagos over the weekend.

Akabueze said, “Driving up government revenue is something we have no choice about now but cutting back on government’s expenditure at this point in time is not a viable option and that is because we are even spending too little as our public expenditure to GDP ratio is lower compared to other African countries.

He noted that the current administration foresees sustained progress in non-oil revenues, some of which was inflationary and added that for the nation to boost its revenue, there was need to focus more on efficiency of spending, not necessarily reducing government spending”.

He continued, “So hoping to lower the whole size of government’s expenditure at this point is not advisable because growth is still tepid and government’s expenditure is one that you drive up and not cut down.

“We have about the lowest revenue to GDP ratio globally and the real concern about our debt is the debt service to revenue ratio but when the revenue issue is fixed, then you can address what seems to be a debt issue,” he added.

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