Nigeria’s economic recovery hobbles as budget padding and dwindling revenue incapacitate government
The current happenings have the potentials of preventing the planned recovery of the economy, which is the aim of this year's budget.
One of the sacred item which all nations of the world handle with care are its expenditure plan (National budget). Since it has potentials to change the fortune of their immediately economy.
Obama's administration used this instrument to get the United States of America out of recession in three years.
Nigeria’s 2017 budget has been signed a month ago, yet still undergoing massive amendments due to politics of budget padding “distortion”. This is the second year in a roll.
Public Affairs Analysts noted that the situation could hobble the planned recovery of the economy, which is the aim of the government through the use of this year's budget.
Also, information released over the weekend by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) indicated that revenue of government has declined by 45% in May 2017. This lead to about N397 billion deficit revenue.
Declining revenue which is accruing to the government also put the economy in a more precarious situation. Mounting debts to save current situation may be bad for the future development of the country. Hence, calls for cautions by the government.
With these scenarios in play, having an uncleared and inconclusive expenditure plan is bad for the country's economic recovery plan.
A similar situation played out in 2016 as well. The budget was delayed due to disagreements between lawmakers and the presidency over spending plans. This led to cut the supply of government money and deepened the economic crisis.
Though, the government announced that a resolution which led to the current amendments the document is going through.
A presidency source also told Reuters that amendments are in place as the National Assembly made many changes to document. Thus, losing its intent.
Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo also stated during the budget signing ceremony in June that: “The final presentation and the signing of the budget have been considerably delayed.
This was largely due to disagreements we had about the changes introduced to our 2017 Budget proposals by the National Assembly.”
“The Executive took the view that the changes fundamentally affected some of our priority programmes and would make implementation extremely difficult and in some cases impossible,” he said.
He also stated that the country may experience something unusual which is “…The most important being that the leadership of the National Assembly has given us a commitment that the National Assembly will reinstate the budgetary allocations for all the important executive projects such as the railway standard gauge projects, the Mambilla power project, the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, etc., which they had been reduced to fund some of the new projects they introduced.”, Osinbajo said.
This excerpt may provide the necessary background to the ongoing budget amendments by the National Assembly.
Public affairs analysts and citizens are now concern about how effective the 2017 budget would help the country get out of its current poor economic dilemma.
The public fight between Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and the Senate’s chairman on Appropriate, Sen. Mohammad Goje is a pointer to the fact that all is not well with the document.
The news of further amendments after it had become a law is one thing that is new to Nigeria.
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