By Amaka Ifeakandu
BudgiT, a civic organisation has said that significant investment in Infrastructure, education and agriculture, among others, would help the government diversify its revenue and sustained the export base of the country.
Chief Executive Officer of BudgiT, Mr. Seun Onigbinde who hailed the early presentation of the 2018 budget admitted that the nation’s economy required fiscal injection to sustain and accelerate economic growth.
BudgiT also applauded Improvement in tax administration, which the government hopes to push ahead in 2018 as highlighted in Mr.
President’s budget presentation speech.
The Group also expressed the need to end the cycle of poverty in the country through some form of social intervention.
BudgIT is a civic organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change.
In all, the civil society group noted that proposed 2018 budget of N8.6 trillion and its guiding framework captured majority of the objectives and philosophy that scholars, researchers and economists are likely to think about when the need for fiscal injections arise.
“The philosophy of the current government to spend big due to the relatively slow economic activities is acceptable and clearly understood.”
“Nigeria cannot continue to borrow to buy cars, computers, retrofit office buildings at the detriment of the critical mass needed to improve the economy and end the cycle of poverty. We hope the biggest proportion of capital allocation will go into improving infrastructure, expanding access to education and health, among others,”Budgit added.
He said that the revenue projection of N6.6 trillion is very optimistic, considering that the total retained revenue of the federal government, including non-oil and oil-related revenue in 2015 and 2016, was N2.8 trillion and N2.6 trillion respectively.
He however, explained that Federal government’s non-oil revenue in the first six months of 2017 stood at N587 billion, and no significant facts suggest the figure would double or triple in approaching the new fiscal year, adding that Oil revenue for the 2018 fiscal year is projected at N2.332 triilion while the biggest bracket of government expected revenue is projected to come from the non-oil sector at N4.16 trillion.
“We accept that the budget benchmark is of $45 per barrel is within the band, but there has to be excessive caution in keeping the peace of the Niger Delta, which is a crucial element in ensuring optimal production.”