2:10 am - Wednesday October 18, 2017

Questionable Provisions In The 2017 Budget; Implication On Nigerians

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Nigeria's 2017 Budget; The Implication On Nigerians.

Nigeria’s 2017 Budget; The Implication On Nigerians. So the 2017 appropriation bill has been presented to the national assembly by the executive arm of government for review and approval. In it however, are a couple of provisions that are glaring and calling for attention by Nigerians.

One of the glaring questions by Nigerians is why huge amounts will be allocated to such issues as honorarium and miscellaneous while so little is allocated to education, health, employment, women and youth empowerment, among other vital issues in a recessive economy where most Nigerians can not even afford 2 square meal a day.

Even among the ruling class, majority have already found fault with certain provisions in the bill.

In the plenary held by the national assembly on the 25th of January this year, the senators took turns in noting epileptic provisions for key areas of the nation development areas, where at the same time, huge sums were assigned to certain sections that one would consider not so critical for development.

In the budget, hug sums of money is allocated to statutory transfers ranging in over N4billion, almost N500billion for the ministry of interior, questionable amounts for honorarium for the presidency as well as miscellaneous while menial figures  are allocated to health and education.

Also very disturbing is the fact that the 2017 budget did not make any clear provisions pertaining to youth and women empowerment. The bedrock of any thriving economy is their youths and women and it is rather surprising and alarming that the 2017 budget did not capture these groups in their plan.

Like we had argued about the 2016 budget, while borrowing to help finance the deficit of the nation’s budget may not in itself be a bad idea, the specific issues the federal government of Nigeria is borrowing to attend to calls for concern.

The government’s borrowing plan to fund its capital expenditure among others has greatly failed to indicate how feasible it is for that to facilitate development.

Very disturbing is also the fact that this is not the first time we are having to borrow against our wish and the assurance is always that this is to help us get out of a bad situation.

However, from my own point of view we seem never to come true with the promises made as it always come down at the end to explanations as to why what was intended has not materialized and then more explanations which end up taking us back to other rounds of borrowing.

while all of these drama goes on in the back ground, politicians change lifestyles at our expense, own and build estates both within and outside of the country and the very people/reasons for the borrowing end up not been attended to as promised.

The question therefore is that,is it not possible for these expenses especially with respect to equipment for government staff to be cut down such that our current projected earnings will comfortably accommodate our expenditure projections?

If there was no where to borrow these monies, would it not have been possible for Nigeria as a nation to work with what she has and still pull the country out of recession into a productive nation?

The minimum wage for the average Nigerian is within the range of N18,000. Apart from the fact that this amount is insufficient in our current economic reality, it is not even dutifully paid by the government. Yet in all of these, the 2017 budget has provisions where billions are been spent on renovations and or renewals of government office holders’ lodges at the expense of the welfare of a million Nigerians.

The questions again are;

  1. In the cases of equipment  among others, what happened to the ones acquired before now? Is it not possible to make do with what is on ground till we are able to get the nation out of recession?
  2. Why would you want to change or replace existing utensils if they can still serve when you barely have enough to attend to genuine needs?
  3. Why are we having to constantly include these items in the budget as if they wear out in months? and even if they do, of what relevance are they compare to other pressing responsibilities such as education, health, employment of youths and women, ensuring sufficient food production among others?

Like one of the senators rightly said, the way people in government treat the masses in Nigeria, Nigerians will prefer to go to hell should they find Nigerian leaders in heaven on the last day.

Bellow are a copy of the 2017 Bill Appropriation Document and a full text of president Buhari’s speech on the 2017 budget presentation

Bill Appropriation Dodument

2017 Budget presentation by President Buhari

See also

 

 

 

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