Senate President, Bukola Saraki has said that made-in-Nigeria goods must be anchored on in the process of implementation of the 2018 Budget.
Speaking at the presentation of 2018 Budget Proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly, Mr. Saraki noted that despite the economic recovery, Nigerian youths are still unemployed.
“The implementation of the 2018 budget must anchor on the #MadeInNigeria project,” he said.
“This should be reflected in government procurements in 2018. We must see to the implementation of the Procurement law, with particular relevance to the part that has to do with support for #MadeInNigeria goods.
“We must remember that the real gains must be felt on a personal level by the individual, for economic recovery to have meaning. People are seeking to get back to work but cannot find jobs.
“The question on the lips of many Nigerians has been, “How does the recovery translate into tangible economic benefits for me?”
Saraki advised President Buhari to review agreements that government has signed with some private sector service providers, adding that some these arrangements are biased and not in the interest of the nation.
“As we strive to start implementing the budget from January, all would be in vain if we do not eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and speed up the procurement process.’’
Speaking further, Saraki said the implementation of the 2018 Budget will be a defining element of the present administration and therefore, all must work together to steady the ship of Nigeria’s economic recovery.
“As the country gradually recovers, it is important to reset the fundamentals that drive our economy, so we do not slide back into recession.”
Commending the efforts of the Buhari-led administration in tackling unemployment saying, the Senate president noted that immediate steps must be taken to make the 2018 Budget an employment-oriented one.
“While I commend your current efforts at tackling unemployment – especially among the youth through Federal Youth Programmes such as #YouWin, #NPower, and YES-Programme deliberate steps must be taken to make the 2018 budget a jobs-oriented one.
“Looking around today, we see that many of our undergraduates are apprehensive about their graduation day; and our National Youth Corps members are not looking forward to the end of the service year, for fear of being tagged ‘unemployed’.”
The President presented the 2018 Budget yesterday to the National Assembly, indicating a 15 percent scale back on the total deficit at N2.005 trillion, down from N2.36 trillion stated in 2017 budget. At a total expenditure estimate of N8.612 trillion, the deficit amounted to 1.77 percent of the nation’percentDomestic Product, GDP, a 17.3 percentage point drop from 2.14 percent deficit to GDP stated in 2017 budget.
According to Vanguard, of the N8.612 trillion proposed for 2018, 30.8 per cent (or 2.652 trillion Naira) of aggregate expenditure (inclusive of capital in Statutory Transfers) has been allocated to the capital budget.
This indicates that the government was confident of stronger revenue inflow against borrowings to fund the budget, much in line with the government’s plans under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, aimed at progressively reducing deficit and borrowings.