Experts Label FG Economic Team Dreamers
With the dust about the missing 2016 Budget about to settle, the public is again jolted by the revelation that a whopping sum of N532,223,924 was budgeted for just “Cable T V Connections” in the presidency, Aso Rock seat of power by President Mohammed Buhari’s economic team.
This has further attracted reactions from analysts who have also described the 2016 budget as unrealistic having been predicated on mere wishful assumptions.
According to the details from the Budget Office, the 1,810 page budget entitled: Consolidated Appropriation Bill Details 2016, has the total budgeted amount for the Presidency as N39,124,978,811 out of which Recurrent Expenditure got N19,969,489,292 while Capital Expenditure 19,155,489,519.
From this figures, findings showed that N536,223,924 was earmarked Cable TV connection. A breakdown of this amount they plan to spend N322,421,971 for the “Linking of Cables to Drivers’ Restroom at Villa Admin”, While the sum of N213,873,953 was provided for the “Linking of Cables from Guesthouse No.9 to Generator House”.
An analyst who spoke to MMS Plus has this to say:
In his observation on the 2016 Budget and the future of the economy, the Managing Director of Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu in an interview with MMS plus noted, “the principles on which the budget is predicated is sound in the sense that government wants to implement an expansionary budget initiative, infuse that into the system to trigger an economic recovery. But the basic assumptions of the budget seem to be unrealistic. I will mention a few of them. The government has made provisions for N1.51 trillion for the enforcement of fiscal revenue Act. I want to know how N1.51trillion will be for fiscal revenue Act.
“ So, of the N3.8 trillion that has been budgeted for revenue in 2016 , you realize that almost 40 percent of that figure is based on service which may be very difficult for the government to accomplish. Then, if you look at the other revenue stream, there is N820billion projection for oil revenue that is predicated on a 2.2million barrel daily production. We have seen the challenges at the Niger-Delta today which may constrained oil production volume. Also, the budget estimate for oil revenue was also predicated on $38 per barrel, now we are talking about $28 per barrel today(Friday). That means that if you factor these two into consideration it is an unlikely achievement. With the volume and drop in price of oil, it means that the N820billion projected as revenue from oil may be unachievable.
“There is also the projection ofN1.4trillion which would come from Customs collection and exercise duty and taxation. If you consider the fact that we are seeing a major shortfall in foreign exchange earnings that means trading activities will go down, particularly importation and as a result government may not realize the projected revenue. A lot of companies are also finding it difficult to make profit because there is decline in profit and some are recording loses, so the tax revenue expected from corporate tax will also be difficult to be actualized. So with all this it is difficult for government to implement the projected revenue of N6.6trillion,” Chukwu asserted.
According to him, the President Buhari –led government from the onset in their campaign days never had a clear cut economic direction for the country on which basis they could be held accountable other than war against corruption, therefore it is not a surprise that there are trials and errors in the system.