MAN, NIWOSEC, others   react as President Buhari signs 2018 budget in June


By Matthew Denis

Business stakeholders and associations in Kwara State have expressed mixed feelings over the signing into law of the 2018 appropriation bill by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday.

The 2018 budget is signed six months into the year.

The President had signed the total budget of N9.1 trillion, up from the N8.6 trillion estimates he submitted to the Assembly on November 7, 2017.

The two chambers of the National Assembly passed the budget on May 16, six months after it was presented by the president

Speaking on the development, the Executive Director of Nigeria Workforce Strategy and Enlightenment Centre (NIWOSEC), Comrade David Kayode Ehindero said the budget does not reflect the State’s economic realities.

“Apart from budget padding, most of the items doesn’t fall in-line with the demands of Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The budget is full of frivolities, like Ministry of Agriculture a lot of things are included such as road construction, building which are meant for works ministry.

“So a lot of billions have been diverted into the agricultural sector and at the end will have no value and direct effect on the sector,” he explained.

Ehindero, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure critical examination of the sensitivity of the budget to ministerial values.

He said: “When you talk about corruption it starts from budgeting. If we don’t get it right in the budget which is the financial fiscal plan of the country then many things will fall apart.

“Our MDAs too are guilty of not presenting correct figures and data and this has given rise to public mistrust of government.

Ehindero called for cordial relationship between the executives and the legislatures towards having speedy passage of budget.

In his reaction, the Executive Secretary of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Kwara/Kogi branch, Mr. Johnson Gbenga said, “The delay in passage and signing of 2018 budget has negative effect on the manufacturing sector.”

He noted that the development would have effect on the exchange rate, saying that it would take time for the naira to gain strength against the dollar.

The Kwara State Chairman of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Deacon Moses Abiodun Ishola, pointed out that the delay in the signing of the budgets is becoming a culture in Nigeria.

He therefore called on the Federal Government in partnership with other tiers of governments to focus and support on non-oil sectors to grow the economy.

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