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How Sustainable is the Proposed 2016 Budget?
December 24, 2015

How Sustainable is the Proposed 2016 Budget?

The 2016 budget presented by PMB is another unsustainable document just like the APC Manifesto itself.

First, it is not the business of the Federal Government to recruit teachers for primary schools. Primary school is a fiscal responsibility of the the State and LGAs. FG can therefore not persuade states to employ 500,000 teachers at this time when States are looking for ways to drop redundant staff. FG cannot employ primary school teachers either. Employing 500,000 teachers will lead to automatic increase in recurrent expenditure, this is against the promise of higher capital budget over recurrent as promised by the APC in their Manifesto. I am sure no State and LGA will buy into the idea of recruiting 500,000 teachers come 2016.

Second, 2015 budget was 4.3trillion Naira, yet N575.5 billion was borrowed to supplement it by the APC led FG. What is the possibility that there will be no cash fall in 2016 as it happened in last quarter of 2015? Funding a National budget on high debt at this time of lower National revenue is not so brilliant.

Third, providing 500Billion Naira on the basis of paying 5k to per person will only pay  8.4million vulnerable people per month and not the 25million as claimed in the APC Manifesto. This is an unsustainable approach towards welfarism. The economy is not smiling, I do not think this is the time to borrow money to fund welfarism in the name of playing to the gallery.

Fourth, only 30% of the budget will be spent on capital projects. This is also against the spirit of the APC Manifesto of making Capital budget between 50% to 60% and recurrent 50% and below.

Fifth, the budget promises to provide free tertiary education for students studying science and technology. The truth is that, tertiary education has always been free in Nigeria for both science and non science students so I really don’t understand what FG means by saying it will provide free tertiary education for science and technology students. FG owned public institutions have always provided free education to students of all courses.

Sixth, the FG promises to reduce tax for small businesses in NIgeria. This, I think is a wrong move, this is not the right time to reduce tax at all for anybody, the govt needs more money and therefore needs more tax. The govt should focus to blocking the loopholes and tax evasions by the multinationals and not reduce tax for anybody a bit. In 2016, FG should be targeting even the garri farmers as part of people to pay tax if it must meet up with those estimated trillions. Nigerian government is losing so much money through tax evasion.

Seventh, the fact that we will be borrowing over 2trillion Naira to fund our National budget is an attestation that nothing has changed in Nigeria. The Nigerian economy is terribly bad and not self sustaining. We should learn to sow our coat according to our available cloth.

It is alarming to note that the budget provides N369.6 billion in total to the education sector! This proposal not only falls below the required target set by the previous administration for education in the year 2015 but also goes a record low below the 26% as recommended by the UNESCO. In 2015, despite the entire budget of 4.4trillion Naira, Education received 392 billion, that is 8.7% of the annual budget. Today, we have a total budget of 6.08trillion Naira yet Education is likely going to get only 369.6 billion, that is 5.5%! We are sure this amount will go down further after joint reviews have been made by the National Assembly. The 5.5% proposed by the Presidency falls below the 15% proposed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) in its party Manifesto and upon which the Nigerian students massively voted for it. This is the height of national hypocrisy.

Finally, Nigeria is not working, this budget presented by PMB is not different from the past years of PDP budgeting system.

We cannot continue to live in Nigeria like this.

In 2016, we should focus on restructuring Nigeria into #TrueFiscalFederalism and allowing the states/regions to compete for themselves rather than borrowing money to fund our budgets.

Nigeria is not working. Nigeria is failing. Lets tell ourselves the truth. We cannot continue like this.

Nigeria needs to be restructured. Everything about us is skewed, including our National budget.

@TonyOsborg writes

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