By Providence Obuh
The Lagos State Chapter of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMBLAG) weekend, said that the 2017 budget should be focused on addresing unemployment by creating jobs and boosting growth of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP)
In his reaction to the budget 2017 presented by President Mohammadu Buhari to the National Assembly last week, Chairman, NAMBLAG, Mr. Omololu Fatunbi, said except the budget addresses the increase in inflation rate, unemployment and decline in GDP, then change is not visible.
Fatunbi who doubles as Managing Director, Ric Microfinance Bank Limited, said: “I need to first have the basic content of that budget because if a budget is given today, tomorrow it is another story we will be hearing. I do not see too much shift from what is obtainable, considering all the parameters in the economy that have not changed.
“Inflation rate is on the increase, unemployment is on the increase, GDP is on the decline, except the budget is going to address some of these things, I have not seen so much change. If government wants to create employment of one million in three years, then what is the budget going to address.
“Of a truth, there is a budget that we can use to come out of recession and if you ask me I dont know what shift, but until it addresses those national income indices like unemployment, inflation, GDP and others, before I can say it is a buget of positivity.”
Meanwhile, other stakeholders who reacted to the budget said that they were confident about the president’s political will, while others predicted a robust economic outlook in 2017, with drastic economic reforms imminent. They said, “President Buhari said the 2017 budget would contain proposals and packages that would lead Nigeria out of the present economic recession. We are glad that most of the government policies are targeted at reducing unemployment and poverty, and wealth creation. The social intervention programme of N500 billion in the 2017 budget would go a long way to dampen the hardship of Nigerians.”