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This research is set out to explore the nature of fiscal deficit and the
impact it has on economic growth by carrying out a critical examination on
Nigeria within 1990-2013.
The history of fiscal deficit in Nigeria dates as far back as the 1970s.
Several researches conducted to find out the reason for these deficits
suggested that, it was prompted by the oil shock which induced public
spending that increased government total recurrent expenditure from N3,
819.20 million in 1977 to N4, 805.20 million in 1980 and further to N36,
219.60 million in 1990 (CBN 2007, 2008); and the huge public debt which
grew beyond the debt-service ability of the economy (Oluba 2014).
However, the sustained impact of these factors, coupled with a few others
resulted to a sharp increase in fiscal deficits which turned out to be a
recurring issue (Oluba 2014).
The government resulted to deficit financing which implies that
government expenditure exceeds government revenue over a period of
time. (Anyanwu, 1997). In a bid to overcome the rising level of macroeconomic
instability, Nenbee (2009) suggests that government in various
countries have resorted to fiscal deficits in their spending.
As a result of these recurring deficits, national savings is drastically
reduced and consequently, domestic investment. Inflation and
unemployment keep rising. Needless to say fiscal deficits creates macroeconomic
imbalances. The expansion of the public sector naturally leads to
the contraction of the private sector which reflects in a decrease in private
consumption (Oluba, 2014).
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