EDITORIAL NEWS 

2020 Budget Presentation: Matters Arising

President Mohammadu Buhari, yesterday presented the budget for the 2020 fiscal year, titled, “Budget of growth and job creation,” to the national assembly. This budget is set at a sum of N10.3 Trillion, and this makes it the highest budget ever made in Nigeria’s history. To execute the proposed budget, the President estimated revenue for the year 2020 to be N8.2 Trillion (N2.6 Trillion from oil revenue, N1.8 Trillion Non-oil tax revenue, and N3.7 Trillion from other revenues).

While all of these look fine on paper, we are worried as to how the government plans to fund this mighty budget. In 2018, the government proposed a budget of N9.12 Trillion, with estimated revenue of N7.1 Trillion, in January 2019, the FIRS announced it collected only about N5.3 Trillion in total revenue. This year, the government also made a budget of N8.92 Trillion, with an estimated revenue of N7 Trillion, so far it does not look like we can meet up with these values.

Some people have applauded the President for this budget and declared that they believe in the power of the budget to create jobs and cause economic growth. However, looking at the trend of Nigeria’s economy in the last three years, believing this budget can be funded with generated revenue would be delusional; on this note, we are asking the Nigerian Government how exactly it hopes to fund the Budget2020?

It is also mind boggling that our government keep churning out budgets with overwhelming figures in the face of a staggering economy, while citizens hold on to nothing but faith. It is time our government looked at the reality of our economic situation, and make plans according to these realities instead of a hopeful future.

From this budget and previous ones, it is clear Nigeria is still highly reliant on revenue generated from Oil. Every change in the price of a barrel of crude oil affects the economy of the country and, for long, we have talked about diversifying the Nigerian economy without so much work to back up our talk.

Now, our reality is showing we cannot keep banking on oil wealth alone to sustain our economy yet, our government still makes budgets that are heavily reliant on oil revenue. In 2020, just like in 2018 and 2019, our revenue is still not likely to meet up with our budget but, our government clearly have not come up with strategies to tailor their suit according to their cloth.

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