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FG’s N14trn budget for three years

It would have amounted to economic self-delusion of the worst kind if the Federal government had failed to take into account the failure of this year’s budget, largely on account of the shortfall in crude shipments while preparing next year’s budget proposals. By July, revenue shortfall for 2013 had already reached N686bn and are projected to get close to N1 trillion by year end. So instead of N4.925bn proposed for 2013, the nation will be extremely fortunate if N4tn is received. Thus, while the 2014 proposed budget is lower than the 2013 appropriation, it is N495bn more than what can be reasonably expected this year.

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For public servants; the party is over

Just in case public sector workers fail to get the point, the Federal Government went further to declare that “only actual earnings will be shared.” Again for those who might not understand the meaning of that statement, it means that the Federal Government will no longer dip into the excess crude oil to make up the difference between budgeted earnings and actual income. Typical of governments everywhere, the Federal Government failed to tell the entire story – perhaps because it might be too alarming. Yet, the truth must be told to enable public servants, at all three tiers of government, as well as creditors to government to prepare for the inevitable. And, what is inexorable?

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End Of Oil Dependent Economy – 1

The second story was the real wake up call to Nigerians about our dismal economic future if we continue with our over-reliance on crude oil for our survival. According to the paper, “the country [Nigeria] began a new journey into the shackles of foreign and domestic indebtedness in which by 2011, statistics indicated its total foreign debt soared to the tune of US$47.9 while the domestic debt platform rose to about US$42.3 billion, much higher than even before the debt relief”.

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Worsening unemployment and bad politics

“In Nigeria today, there are millions of young people who are economically dislocated, either through unemployment or a lack of engagement with any meaningful economic activities. In effect, 24 percent of our economic agents are disaffected and disenfranchised through unemployment and that figure rises to almost 70 percent when we consider those between the ages of 18 and 30”.

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Is your bank in trouble? Act before it goes down

“When an old man dies, you lose a library,” according to an old adage. Having survived all odds to reach the age of 69, in a country where life expectancy is still under 52 years, it might not be too presumptuous to call myself “an old man.” Not just an old man, but one who actively attempts to document historical landmarks in the management of our national economy.

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Who Steals Nigerian Crude Oil?

Nigerians have been treated to a theatre of the absurd in which those close to the oil scene and those who should be the prime suspects for the incessant theft of crude are the same people complaining about it and passing the buck among themselves. Jonathan’s government is obviously powerless to stop the grand larceny or is unwilling to do so. Meanwhile, we face real fiscal catastrophe this year and next year if the theft is not checked. Who are the culprits? Take your choice from the list below.

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Nigeria’s slide into another debt trap

There are some situations in which a public official should pray not to find himself or herself. Just last week, a columnist with the PUNCH, Chido Onumah, reminded us of what Reuben Abati wrote about the President’s wife before he was appointed presidential spokesman. In particular Abati had written that “the possession of power in any form does not guarantee the right to be reckless or to ignore the etiquette required of office holders”.

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FAAC crisis and the dangers ahead

“The Forum of Commissioners of Finance from the 36 states led by the Chairman, Mr Timothy Odaah, had expressed anger over the unpaid arrears amounting to about N160bn($1bn)”. PUNCH 19, 2013.

Nigerians, for reasons difficult to understand, seem to be totally uninterested in the most important issues affecting their lives; one such is monthly revenue allocation to states. For the last one week, while the focus had been on politics, NGF, PDP etc, the Finance Commissioners of the 36 states had been in a tug of war with the Federal government; which owes them, collectively, about N160 billion.

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