The passage of the 2018 budget into law today by President Buhari is a welcome development though long overdue.
The budget is a fundamental framework for strategic planning and decision making by both the public and private sector, as such delays have far reaching implications on the nation’s economy and the wellbeing of the people.
NACCIMA reiterates its long-held and well known position that the act of late passage of annual budgets is neither good for the economy or our nation’s developmental aspirations for inclusive growth and sustainable development.
It is particularly not helpful to the Private Sector which government has acknowledged as the engine of growth and development of the economy.
NACCIMA observed that, in his speech, Mr. President identified and highlighted some key projects which had been earmarked for implementation in the 2018 Budget, in the area of Health, Security and Infrastructure but have either been dropped or the allocations for their implementation reduced. This is of serious concern to the organized private sector.
While we acknowledge the statutory role of the Legislature in reviewing the budget presented by the Executive, we counsel that these projects be reconsidered for approval as soon as Mr. President presents the supplementary budget to the legislature as promised in his speech.
We wish to use this opportunity to reaffirm the need for the Legislature and Executive to devise consultative mechanisms that will ensure quick passage and assent of the yearly budget which is a veritable guide to business operators to plan their yearly activities.
In conclusion, now that Mr. President has signed the 2018 budget, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government should IMMEDIATELY swing into action for the implementation of the budget to make up for time already lost in the 2018 budget year.
IYALODE ALABA LAWSON,MFR,FIoD,JP