Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
2017 Budget: Make debt profile public, Expert tells FG

By News Express on 14/05/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 791

•Economic expert, Mr Eze Onyekpere.
•Economic expert, Mr Eze Onyekpere.

An Economic expert, Mr Eze Onyekpere, on Sunday in Abuja, called on the Federal Government to make public the nation’s debt profile.

He said that letting Nigerians to know the size of the country’s debt was necessary give the N1.84 billion allocated to debt servicing in the 2017 Budget passed by the National Assembly on Thursday.

Onyekpere, who is the Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that dedicating such a huge amount of money showed that the country was indeed, heavily indebted.

It would, however, be recalled that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Keri Adeosun, recently debunked insinuations that the country’s debt was high.

She had at The Platform programme in Lagos explained said that the problem was not that Nigeria’s debt was “too high, but that its revenue was too low’’.

According to her, it is revenue you use to pay debt and our revenue in Nigeria right now is very low.

“Secondly,” she said, “most of our debt matures between two years, and that means that the actual amount of interest we are paying is significant.

“What we are doing right now is refinancing most of that debt, especially those maturing within the next two years.

“We are also working on improving government revenue through tax.”

Onyekpere also expressed concern that the capital allocation to 10 key ministries as a percentage of debt service was 72.99 per cent while debt service was 84.49 per cent of the overall capital vote.

“Dedicating 24.73 per cent of the overall budget to debt service is an indication that Nigeria’s debt profile is becoming unsustainable.

“The capital vote of 29.30 per cent is just a little higher than debt service.

“With a deficit financing of N2.35 trillion, the debt service is about 36 per cent of our expected revenue. This shows that we may soon be back to the debt situation prior to the debt relief period,” he said.

On Statutory Transfer to the Health Sector, Onyekwere queried the non-compliance of the provision of section 11 of the National Health Act (NHA).

“Providing for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund being one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund was ignored.

“The provision should have been in the sum of N47.59 billion.

“It is an act of callous insensitivity to the plight of poor Nigerians, particularly women and children, whose rights to life and health are violated on a daily basis,” he said.

The economist said that a benchmark oil price of 44.50 dollars per barrel of crude oil was close to the prevalent market rate of 47 dollars per barrel.

According to him, the revenue assumptions in the budget, which though not overtly optimistic, may not be realised based on prevalent economic realities.

“At this rate, the sources of funding of the budget may not fully materialise.

“Although the benchmark production rate of 2.2 million barrels per day is realistic, it is imperative to note that Nigeria is not yet meeting the benchmark as current production figures still fall short of the benchmark.

“Also, with an approved exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, the budget still insists on a fixation that is not in tandem with reality.

“The gap between the approved rate and what is obtainable in the market is still very wide.

“A differential between N380 to one dollar and N305 creates multiple exchange rates in one country,” he said.

Onyekpere also criticised the late approval of the 2017 budget, which was submitted on Dec. 14, 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said also that the decision of the National Assembly to make details of its budget available to Nigerians was a welcomed development.

He said that no institution under a constitutional democracy had the right to spend public funds in a way and manner unknown to the public, which held the ultimate sovereign power.

The Appropriation Bill as passed was raised from N7.30 trillion proposed by the president to N7.44 trillion, indicating an increase of N143 billion by the lawmakers.

They provided N434.41 billion for Statutory Transfers, N1.84 trillion for Debt Servicing and N177.46 billion for Sinking Fund from maturing bonds.

Recurrent Expenditure got N2.99 trillion, Capital Expenditure, N2.18 trillion and provision of N2.36 trillion was made for Fiscal Deficit, with deficit to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) put at 2.18 per cent.

Highlight of the budget showed that Ministry of Power, Works and Housing received the highest fund of N586.54 billion, Ministry of Transport, N256.52 billion; Ministry of Education, N455.41 billion and Ministry of Health, N308.46 billion. (NAN)

Source News Express

Posted 14/05/2017 9:45:02 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
SANUSI 3 TIMES A WINNER!: Nigeria’s CBN Chief...

Obasanjo’s son cuts off links with mother

Shiites accuse Army of vendetta, demand release of...

How our Editor was shot – SUN clears...

Social Media Accounts: Count me out, says Emir...

FRSC plans introduction of bicycle transport

Plans to rig 2015 presidential poll exposed

Delta Govt. releases N1.6bn to DESOPADEC

Anambra Govt. inaugurates monthly road walk for workers,...

Group seeks implementation of Sharia laws in Niger...

Senate slams NCC for contemplating data tariff hike...

Kano Govt. says Ganduje not at war with...

 

Latest News Political thugs mob journalist during Rivers bye-election FRSC deploys officials to catch drunk drivers along Lagos-Ibadan expressway 19 Nigerians arrested in Nairobi for Facbook fraud Corruption Allegations: PDP tasks Buhari to clear FG, APC 2019: Trouble looms in Bayelsa PDP over automatic return tickets Lagos earmarks N6.3bn to empower small-scale business entrepreneurs annually Flood: 3 feared killed, hundreds displaced in Yola Abuja Building Collapse: Six rescued as operations end NASS/Executive Feud: Dogara distances self from social media reports Allowances of troops paid up to date: Defence HQ Retired principal picked as Accord deputy governorship candidate Buhari mourns former UN Scribe, Kofi Annan

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (378,301 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (366,994 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (296,731 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (242,179 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (223,104 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (217,349 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (192,832 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (175,026 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (159,837 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (158,612 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (152,936 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (143,225 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (56) Business & Economy (3,461) Business Verdict (48) Columnists (912) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (528) Features (637) Global Business Monitor (295) International (2,278) Interview (162) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (134) News (38,122) Opinion (1,060) Pidgin (11) Politics (6,083) Religion (823) Sports (1,648) Stock Watch (33) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid 2-4 Highlights and Goals

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement