By Tordue Salem
ACCRA – Lawmakers and top economists yesterday predicted a gloomy fiscal year for Nigeria, against the backdrop of an appalling deficit in the 2009 Appropriation Act, which is yet to score an even 20 per cent performance, a few weeks to the third quarter.
The Economists and members of parliament from West Africa, who are meeting in Accra for a 5-day conference on global recession and ways to tackle it through legislative and other measures, also blamed the deficit in the money bill on the attitude of government.
Prof. Tayo Fakeyesi, of the Department of Economics, University of Lagos , who is one of the resource persons at the workshop, took a critical assessment of the situation, drawing conclusions that indicted the financial methods of the Nigerian government.
â€œThe current budget plans will be affected in a major way. The 2009 Federal budget proposals have in built deficit of N1.09trillion, a figure that many critics consider unsustainable.
â€œGovernment is optimistic that it would be able to finance it through taxation and accruals from signature bonuses from the sale of certain privatised companies, divestment from some private sector activities and issuance of Federal Government bonds as well as ploughing back some unspent previous yearsâ€™ budget allocations.