Following the signing into law of the most awaited 2016 budget, economists and industry experts have tasked the federal government on strict implementation of the budget which has a total figure of N6.06 trillion.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday signed into law the 2016 budget of revenue projection based on $38 per barrel at production of 2.2 million barrels per day.
However, some economic experts in the country have commended President Mohammadu Buhari for finally signing the 2016 Appropriation Bill, giving way for full implementation of the budget, so as to drastically address the current state of the Nigerian economy.
This they said will enhance the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which has been using different monetary measures in upholding the nation’s economy and the financial system, with intention of bringing better times to the people of Nigeria and the economy as a whole.
While, the signing took place at the presidential Villa, in Abuja on Friday, many have expressed doubts over some aspects of the document, especially the ability of the government to generate the projected fund to finance the budget.
Speaking on the signing of the budget, Mr. Emeka Okolo and Higo Aigboje, both economic analysts, however, looked at the 2016 budget from level of implementation perspective.
In their separate reactions, they said the budget looked good on paper, but if past experiences are anything to go by, its implementation may just be the problem.
Mr. Okolo, who is Managing Director, Molten Trust Limited said: “What I am concerned is that the budget should be implemented; we are no longer interested in discourse everyday again; we want implementation of the budget. On paper, it is good, but implementation is always the issue.
“I know that some will say that the main issue is that borrowing is too much, borrowing is not the issue. The main issue is to use the borrowing for what it is meant for, that is the bottom-line. If they can implement it faithfully, that is okay”.
In a similar vein, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Capital Bancorp Plc, Mr Aigboje, explained that the 2016 budget is very positive, if faithfully implemented, adding that the budget can bring about economic prosperity, because Nigeria’s problem is not about budgets, but about the implementation process.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer, SOFUNIX Investment and Communications Limited, Mr Sola Oni, in his response to our enquiry said, “The key issue is how we finance the budget so that it does not end up as a mere political campaign gimmick?”
Oni noted that the key issue to be worried about was how to finance the budget, adding that if the budget was not well financed, it may result in a waste of time.
It would be recalled that President Muhammodu Buhari had on December 22, 2015 presented a total of N6.08 trillion to the National Assembly, but it was slashed to N6.06 trillion, thereby reducing it by N200 million. When the budget was passed by the National Assembly on March 23, the President declined assent, saying that there were inconsistencies in the budget estimates that he presented and the one passed by the lawmakers.
Buhari, however, signed the budget into law on Thursday in the presence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, among many others.