There’s Absolutely Nothing To Consolidate In Budget – Onyekpere
The Executive Director, Centre for Social Justice, Mr Eze Onyekpere, has said that there is nothing to consolidate in the 2018 budget
“I have not seen anything positive in terms of what has been achieved in the past two years through the budgeting process that we need to consolidate,” Onyekpere said on Wednesday via Skype on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“The concept of consolidation means that there is something positive that you want to build on – there probably should be a deconsolidation process because we are trying to move from ignoring the implementation in the capital budget to a capital budget that should be implemented.”
The lawyer stated this a day after President Muhammadu Buhari addressed a joint session of the National Assembly concerning the 2018 Appropriation Bill and presented the 2018 budget proposal to the lawmakers.
President Buhari, who said that the 2018 budget would consolidate on the achievements of the previous budget, had express optimism that 2018 would be a year of better outcomes.
Onyekpere, however, disagreed with the President’s comment on consolidation, saying: “We are seeking to move away from a revenue focus and projection that is based on sentiment to one that is based on empirical evidence.”
“So, I don’t see anything to consolidate because you cannot consolidate poverty, you cannot consolidate arbitrariness and you cannot consolidate lack of implementation in the capital budget.
“You cannot consolidate unempirical forecast of revenue and so, there is absolutely nothing to consolidate,” he added.
On his part, a policy and economic analyst, Mr Tope Fasua, advised the Federal Government to compare Nigeria with other countries and not see the nation as a ‘local champion’.
Fasua, who was also a guest on Politics Today, said: “If you look at what’s going on around the world, even in Africa here you would realise that N8trn is too small for us as a country; there’s what is called fiscal productivity in economics and that’s when you look at the fiscal sector viz-a-viz the GDP of the country.”
“But if you look at other countries, even in Africa here you will see that they are dreaming bigger than us and that’s unfortunate. The point is that the Federal government has to have bigger dreams for the people of this country,” Fasua added.