Nigerians call for full budget implementation, improved security, others

President Muhammadu Buhari presents budget to National Assembly

Hours after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2021 appropriation bill into law Thursday, some Nigerians told Blueprint that they expected full implementation, proper coordination, improved security and early commencement of the Social Investment Programme (SIP) highlighted in the budget.

An economic expert, Yusha’u Aliyu expressed hope that the SIP captured in the budget “takes off early, in other to help the market to grow and cushion the hardship in the country.

“Because we are in a recession, so the more government commits so many resources in the hand of people for market purposes, the better for the economy.”

 “My expectation is an implementation of the budget, as well as working on the sustainability of the benchmark of crude, which is 40 dollars per barrel. We expect that the trend at 50 dollars per barrel should continue,” he said.

On his part, Mr Jackson Lekan Ojo said: “I want the government to use the money budgeted for security agencies and parastatal judiciously to secure lives and properties of Nigerians. That is to say, we should work seriously for a high level of protection of lives and properties in Nigeria for meaningful development, because without security, the development will be difficult to attain. 

“Also, the budget should be fully implemented to create jobs for our youths. They should also provide an enabling environment for small businesses to grow. So to me, the budget implementation should be to prevent and not to fight insecurity.”

Also, a security risk management expert and managing director Beacon Consulting Ltd,  Kabir Adamu expected critical budget monitoring and evaluation.

“On security, I am always of the opinion that it’s not all about money, but how you use that money. In other words, if there are linkages within the system, no matter the amount of money budgeted for security agencies and others, that money will not be meaningful. Unfortunately, I have not heard the kind of language that I want to hear. That is monitoring and evaluation, as we as an oversight in the security sector. So if there is no monitoring and evaluation mechanism to allow for constant review, unfortunately, what transpired in 2020 will likely repeat itself.

“I expect proper coordination in 2021. There is a need for the entire security sector, 27 ministries, departments and agencies to be well-coordinated towards achieving a single purpose, which is the protection and security of Nigerians and everybody residing in Nigeria. That kind of coordination is currently lacking, so that system approach should be encouraged.

“I am aware that some organisations within the security sector already have some advance weapon to prosecute the war against insurgency and others. For example, the air force has procured assets for surveillance, including drones and others. So yes, some the money should be used to procure more of these assets, known as force multipliers that will assist the security agencies,” Adamu further said.

But a public affairs analyst, Mr Jide Ojo has expressed fear that the second wave of the COVID -19 pandemic may affect revenue collection.

Ojo, in a telephone chat with our correspondent said:  “What I want to see is the full implementation of the 2021 budget. It’s a new sum of money, 13.580 trillion naira. 

 “If they are able to raise the revenue and implement all that we’re highlighted, I believe that we will have a better 2021. However, that will depend a lot on the management of COVID – 19. My concern now is that we are already losing productivity with the fact that workers from grade level 12 to 1 should not come to the office, that is a lot of productive time. 

“It means that those who are supposed to help to collect revenue may not be optimal in their duty, and revenue shortage will negatively impact on project implementation. 

“And from the time we know that the challenge has always been the capital envelope of the budget. So, I do hope that these capital projects that have been highlighted in 2021 budget would all be executed.”

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