2020 Budget: Kwara ICAN, ex-commissioner, others knock FG

...say reduction lack of economic planning


By Matthew Denis

Mixed reactions by Nigerians  have continued to trail plan by the
Federal Government to cut down on the 2020 budget.
In Kwara State, economic experts and stakeholders  who spoke to Pilot
Business, have condemned the  proposed budget reduction, saying it is
not well thought out.
The immediate past  Kwara State  Commissioner for   Planning and
Economic Development, Alhaji Wasiu Odewale, in an interview with this
medium at the weekend, said the planned budget cut reflects low
revenue generation.
“Looking at the Budget, the first thing that comes to mind is
revenue. How did you get the money before you start talking about
spending it? Today,  the reality is clear that  the Federal Government
is losing in revenue generation. It means it  is not meeting its
projections for 2019, thus, the 2020 budget has to be  adjusted
because of  the revenue loss, hence  the reduction, ” Odewale
He noted  that the world market forecast in the current year  and for
2020 is not looking favourable, adding that there will likely be
economic recession in 2020/2021 which the country  must be prepared
“Therefore, the 2020 Budget should be conservative enough to allow for
those crises and adjustment in our expenditure pattern,” he added.
Also speaking, an Ex-officio of the Institute of Chartered Accountants
of Nigeria (ICAN), Kwara State chapter,  Pastor Abel Aiyedogbon,  said
the performance of the 2019 budget must have informed the reduction.
The former chairman of the body in the state, said, “Since budget in
itself is a guide the performance of the present budget must have
accounted for the reduction.”
He, however, advised that, “utilisation of income is very important
and there should be reduction in personnel cost otherwise there will
not be resources to develop the real sector.”
On his part, a chartered Economist, Chief Chinedu Ezeanowii attributed
the proposed budget cut to lack of proper economic planning.
According to the Ezeanowii who is also Chairman of Chidex Superstores,
” The cut down in 2020 budget when compared to the 2019 budget shows
that the Federal Government  lacks skills in planning for a
progressive economy.
” If the difference as they said is about N360 billion, it indicates
that the government is taking the country backward instead of having
an increase in next year’s fiscal budget.”
The businessman decried what he described as president Muhammadu
Buhari’s administration lack of skillful economic experts and think
tanks to draft policies that will boost and encourage growth of
industrial activities.
However,  Kwara-based businessman,  Mr. Lanre Adeniyi said  the
planned  reduction is a positive step  by the Federal Government to
curb corruption.
He noted that Nigerians did not feel impact of previous annual budgets
despite the huge amount released for implementation, adding that
budget   reduction will make the government to painstakingly monitor
the income and expenditure for the 2020 budget.
Recall that the Federal Government had disclosed  plan to spend about
N9.78 trillion in the 2020 fiscal period. The Minister of Finance ,
Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed made the disclosure in
Abuja last  Tuesday.
She noted that the proposed budget when compared to the 2019 budget
size of N10 .06 tn representing a decline of N360 billion.

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