A don, Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, says the Federal Government’s N6 trillion budget proposal for 2016 is achievable with prudent management of funds and transparency in implementation process. Anyanwu, the Head of Economics Department, University of Abuja, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the budget was realistic.
She said that the budget was achievable if the Federal Government could reform its tax method and diversify the economy to generate more revenue to implement the budget.
“The tax administration is very poor in Nigeria; some citizens pay their taxes, some do not pay at all and majority of those that are even paying are not paying the correct amount.
“I know civil servants pay their taxes correctly but some companies have been defaulting so the government should set up better machinery to collect correct taxes. We cannot continue to borrow; the government should also look for other forms of taxes to boost the revenue to fund the budget. We should also develop the non-oil sector such as telecommunication, tourism, agriculture and solid minerals to generate employment in the country,” the don said.
Anyanwu commended the government for increasing the budget from N5 trillion to N6 trillion, saying “we have never had it so high like this.”
She said that the N6 trillion proposals at an oil bench mark of 38 dollars per barrel was realistic, adding that the price of oil could further fall in the international market.
“All we need to do is to block leakages in the economy, address corruption and reduce the cost of governance.
“We should also embrace fiscal discipline and ensure judicious use of the money; we must be able to account for every kobo spent so that we can see results. Also, the government should ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of the projects to be implemented in 2016 since it is projecting almost 30 per cent of the budget on capital projects,” she said.
According to her, the 30 per cent of the budget to be spent on capital projects will enhance development.
The don, however, advised the Federal Government to address the issue of ghost workers in the system. She also advised the government to ensure quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill to propel the development of the oil sector. The budget proposal is contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) recently approved by the Federal Executive Council. MTEF sets out the policies of government over the next three years and it sets out the fundamental economic underpinnings of the budget.