Economists say Nigeria’s loft budgets lack capital infrastructure implementation drive

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By Camillus Eboh

ABUJA, Nov 2 – Economists from various part of the coubtry has reacted to the recent move by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to present the 2018 budget to parliament on Nov 7, he said in a letter on Thursday, seeking to avoid the delays that have plagued previous budgets, not passed until well into the years they targeted.

Buhari’s budgets has set a record high level of spending, but economists say implementation, particularly on capital expenditure that is meant to jump-start infrastructure building, has been lacking.

The letter was read in the lower house of parliament by the chamber’s speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

Nigeria, with Africa’s largest economy, is seeking to spend heavily to promote growth. The country only just climbed out of its first recession in 25 years in the second quarter of 2017, but still grew at a slow clip.

At the same time, previous budgets have been beset by wrangling with lawmakers over line items. The 2017 budget was not signed into law until halfway through the year, and even then certain spending was still being debated.

Although Buhari did not disclose details of the budget, the government last month published a document that said the budget would be a record 8.6 trillion naira ($27.3 billion) in 2018, up 15.5 percent from this year.

Once Buhari has presented the 2018 budget to lawmakers, it must still be approved by the lower and upper chambers of parliament before it can be signed into law, a process that can take many months.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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