Against the growing fear of Nigerians about the future hope of the country, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Kolawole Babatunde has predicted that better days are ahead for Nigerians if the 2016 budget is judiciously implemented.
Hon. Babatunde, who represents Akoko South East/Akoko South West federal constituency of Ondo State, blamed the delay in fulfilling the promises made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) during general elections campaign on the 2015 on harsh economic times.
He therefore urged Nigerians to be more patient with President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration, stressing that the President has been handicapped just because he met on ground a budget that has no vision.
“The 2015 budget could be said not to have impacted on the lives of Nigerians at all. In the first instance, the Capital Component (N557 billion) which was 16 percent of the budget was too low to be effective. Yet, of this amount, less than N200 billion was released,” he said while speaking to journalists in Akure recently.
While the Recurrent component of the 2015 budget performed in most cases up to over 70 percent, the aspect that would have brought succour to the Nigerian people performed less than 40 percent. Again, there were so many revenue leakages and abuses of budget processes.
Describing the 2016 budget as a budget of optimism, the law maker assured Nigerians that all promises made by APC during the campaign would soon materialize.
“For me, the 2016 budget is a budget of optimism. For the first time, the country is having a budget that is not only highest in terms of estimates with N6.08 Trillion, but also it’s the most people oriented in the last few years.
It is an avenue to provide jobs and make funds available for the small and medium scale businesses which will in turn positively affect the economy. There is also the social welfare package. But there is really no point in estimates that are off mark and dysfunctional.”
In the 2016 budget, the ratio of Capital Expenditure is 32.37 percent as opposed to 2015 where we had only 16 percent for Capital Expenditure.
It’s the capital projects that benefit the ordinary people more. Also in the budget are Special Intervention Programmes like the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, the Post NYSC Entrepreneurial Development Programme and also the Micro Credit Loans for SMEs which is meant to benefit the Market Women more.
A total of N500 billion from both the Capital and Reccurrent components of the budget has been set aside for these intervention programmes.
It is an avenue to provide jobs and make funds available for the small and medium scale businesses which will in turn positively affect the economy.
There is also the social welfare package. But there is really no point in estimates that are off mark and dysfunctional.”
He commended president Buhari for stating in the budget that about N2 trillion would be borrowed to finance the budget, saying no nation can do without borrowing, except it does not want to develop.