By Lawrence Williams
The Ministry of Finance has issued the Budget Call Circular (BCC) to aid government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) in preparing for the FY2024 budget cycle and the subsequent two years, covering the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) period from FY2024 to FY2026. The BCC offers guidance on budget proposal preparation, including format, style, and submission process. It also outlines the government’s priorities for the coming fiscal year and fiscal constraints MDAs must consider.
In their communication to MDAs, the ministry emphasises the importance of focusing on operational activities, programs, and projects aligned with the ruling party’s manifesto’s top priorities, known as the Big Five Game Changers: Feed Salone (Agriculture), Human Capital Development, Youth Employment Scheme (YES), Revamping the Public Service Architecture, and Technology and Infrastructure. MDAs are strongly encouraged to submit proposals with positive impacts on resource allocation and budget execution, ensuring they are well-planned, realistic, and include clear funding and implementation strategies.
The BCC requires MDAs to provide a comprehensive list of current and potential revenue sources, including data on actual revenue collected in the past two years, medium-term revenue projections, and deposits from the sale of contract bid documents. This information will be used by the Finance Ministry to evaluate each MDA’s financial status and assess their revenue targets’ achievement. The ministry will also identify areas for improvement and provide recommendations to enhance revenue mobilisation. MDAs are also expected to submit tax and non-tax proposals for discussion during budget hearings in early September, which will be considered in the FY2024 budget preparation.
According to the ministry’s forecasts, total revenue for FY2024 is projected to be around NLe21 billion, with a 26% increase in expenditures and net lending, rising from NLe18.8 billion in FY2023 to NLe23.8 billion in FY2024. This will result in a deficit of NLe2.8 billion. Approximately 73% of the revenue projections will come from domestic sources, with the remaining 27% from grants. The government plans to finance the deficit through a combination of domestic and external borrowing.