Abuja – A Don, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, on Thursday expressed optimism that the 2017 budget, when passed into law, would engender economic recovery for the nation.
Uwaleke, who is also the Head, Department of Banking and Finance, Nasarawa State University Keffi, gave the expression in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“I think that the 2017 budget is a good document which is capable of bringing about signs of economic recovery, if well implemented.
“Unlike the 2016 budget which was mired in controversies, the 2017 budget estimates, in my view, are anchored on realistic assumptions and benchmarks, “Uwaleke said.
He said that the OPEC agreement on oil production cuts and price forecasts by reputable energy bodies such as the US Energy Information Administration, justified the oil price benchmark of $42.5 per barrel.
According to him, an exchange rate of N305 to the dollar equally makes sense.
He explained that using any rate above the current official rate would trigger a lot of speculative activities in the forex market, to the detriment of the naira.
Uwaleke, however, said that the real challenge, as is the case with the 2016 revenue projection, remained the attainment of the 2.2 million barrels per daily oil output.
The professor urged the government to commit to addressing the militancy challenge in the Niger Delta region, using the carrot approach.
He, however, commended the increase in the amnesty budget from N20 billion to N65 billion, as indicated in the budget, saying that it was a welcome development.
NAN reports that the 2017 budget, which is N7.3 trillion and tagged, ‘’Budget of Recover and Growth”, is higher than the 2016 budget of N6.08trillion by about 19.95 per cent. (NAN)