By UDEME CLEMENT
As controversy continues to trail 2013 appropriation bill, an economic expert is of the opinion that the Federal Government may not be able to implement up to 50 per cent of the total budget, when the grey areas and other issues surrounding the document are finally resolved. Also, the delay in signing the document due to the face-of between the executive and the legislature if not carefully handled, according to Mr Sulayman Bello, can lead to constitutional crisis.
In a chat with Sunday Vanguard, Bello, an economist with the Research Unit, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Learning Centre, Satellite Town, Lagos, said, “Early presentation of the 2013 was a good initiative, because a budget is an important financial document that every investor wants to see to guide him in making vital business decisions. The budget goes a long way to influence every entrepreneur on when and how to invest in the economy. This implies that without the budget, potential investors may be reluctant to put their money in the economy.”
He went on, “The delay in signing the budget is not good for a growing economy like ours. The economic implication is that, government may not be able to implement up to 50 per cent of the budget due to the delay in signing it. The Senate passed the budget to the executive since December last year, but issues like the constituency projects being added to the financial statement, the bench mark of $75 instead of $79 as suggested by the Senate and other things continue to hinder the signing of the budget, first quarter in a new economic year. Something must be done urgently to resolve the problems.”