Infographics: How To Spend Nigeria’s Recovered Loot
By David Ndukwe
On the 6th of May 2016, the Federal Government and the President of the Federation announced the 2016 budget. It came with a bit of salt to the public as it was NGN6.06 trillion higher than the previous budget of NGN 4.49 trillion. In fact, this was the highest budget ever proposed.
Most of the question raised came from the fact Nigeria’s expected revenue from 2016 is NGN 3.86 trillion and the ‘budget of change’ as it was dubbed was NGN6.06 trillion. The deficit amounts to NGN2.2 trillion. The ‘budget of change’ still had the recurrent expenditure higher than the capital expenditure, however there was a significant increase from 10% to 30% in the allocation to capital expenditure.
Many questions followed as to whether Nigeria needed to borrow or indeed have a deficit budget. Some were concerned as to the implementation of the budget and a lot were also bothered as to how the budget would be paid off.
The deficit of N2.2 trillion which is to be financed through the borrowing of N1.84 trillion made up of domestic borrowing of N984 billion and foreign borrowing of N900 billion. The rest was allegedly to be paid off by recovered loots from corrupt officials and people ‘who have stolen from our country’.
However, on the 4th of June 2016, the Federal Government released a list of the amount of recoveries made. The grand total of money and assets recovered amounted to NGN204 billion, USD9.27 billion, GBP5.99 million and EUR303 thousand.
This begs to question, how the recovered loots would be put to use. The grand converted sum estimates to about NGN2.03 trillion. That happens to be about 92.3% of the budget deficit of NGN2.2 trillion. This shows the government genuinely doesn’t have to borrow as much or indeed at all, if the funds awaiting collection from foreign agencies is put into consideration.
The loot recovered could also pay for various items in the budget such as the debt services of NGN1.48 trillion or pay for the capital expenses of NGN1.59 trillion. The entire recurrent expenditures of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the 2016 budget can be conveniently covered by the recovered loot.
Social Value of Recovered Loot
Likewise, analysis of the N2.02 trillion cash recovered at hand and the interim forfeiture reveals that, about 101,695 schools can be built at the unit cost of N20 million or provide 290,560 additional low cost houses for Nigerians. The healthcare priority of government can also be achieved substantially if the recovered loot was directed mainly for it. For instance, the loot can build over 203 thousands (203, 391) primary health care centre at the unit cost of N10 million.
It remains unclear whether the Federal government would stick to initial plan to use the recovered loot to pay for the budget deficit. The Honourable Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, was not available on phone to respond to this concern by PTCIJ and has not responded to the text message sent to his mobile phones.
Click the links below for full infographic
Disclaimer: Interim Forfeiture is temporary impounding of the assets of an accused until the case is tried and closed. If the accused is found guilty by the court at the end of the trial, then a final order of forfeiture will be issued by the court and the assets become a property of the Federation.