By Victor Ahiuma-Young
The Nigeria’s Organised Private Sector of Nigeria, OPS, has expressed concerns over inability of the Federal Government, FG, to achieve its revenue targets for funding budgetary provisions over the years.
Chairman, OPS and President of Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, Taiwo Adeniyi, in statement made available to Vanguard, said FG’s finances have been struggling despite available options for budgetary funding.
He stated: “It is worrisome that the country has consistently struggled to achieve its revenue targets for funding budgetary provisions.
“It is on record that the Organised Private Sector has offered various options in addressing the fiscal difficulties such as: Cutting down on recurrent expenditures, reduction in the high level of Government’s domestic borrowing, which is crowding out private sourcing of funds, restructuring of Joint Venture oil assets with International Oil Companies, IOCs, and sell-off or concession Government assets that are lying fallow and moribund to boost finances, and reduction in cost of Governance.
“With the unpredictable nature of global oil prices and development in alternative energy sources and modern technology, it is imperative to hasten the process of diversification of the non-oil economy to expand the revenue sources and move away from oil-based economy.
“Certainly, revenue from non-oil is more feasible and sustainable than the oil revenue. Thus, we applaud the initiative of the fiscal authority around the 2021 Budget, which appropriates 30% of its revenue to Oil sector and 70% to non-Oil revenue. This will result in buoyant and robust economy, which will reduce the need for external debt to the barest minimum.”
Continuing, the OPS said: “We urge the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, at this critical time in our history, to develop more strategies in attracting investors, as our major source of revenue, crude oil sales, is easily fading out.
“Providing the enabling environment in attracting investors, local and foreign, into provision of critical infrastructure, will reduce the burden on the lean revenue in delivering on basic needs for development.”
On diversification of the economy, the OPS noted that “Interventions in the agricultural sector have shown to be a pointer in addressing the food security in the country and extending such intervention scheme to the manufacturing sector, solid mineral and other sectors with high inter-industry linkages and huge potential for job creation should be addressed.”