Expert calls for effective implementation of 2017 budget

Following the successful passage of the 2017 budget by the National Assembly, the Nigerian government has been advised to effectively implement the budget in line with the provisions of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Dr Uche Uwaleke, Head of Banking and Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said that the budget had been realistic based on 44.5 dollars benchmark for a barrel of crude oil and an output of 2.2 million barrels per day.

According to him, sectoral allocations largely reflected government priorities, adding that the allocations were consistent with the ERGP.

He noted that power, works and housing got the largest share of capital expenditure while transport also got a substantial amount.

Any increase in the submissions made by the executive should only be justified on grounds of increasing capital expenditure in critical sectors and not for the benefit of running an arm of the government,” he said.

He hailed the National Assembly for passing the bill after subjecting it to public hearing.

This is a clear departure from what has become a norm: its sustenance will, no doubt, enhance transparency and appropriate budgeting for the country,” Uwaleke added.

The National Assembly on May 11 passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N7.44 trillion against the N7.29 trillion budget proposal submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Assembly in December.

The breakdown of the budget shows that N2.987 trillion was allocated for recurrent expenditure while capital expenditure gulped N2.177 trillion.