Olajide: 2017 budget may not get us out of recession

…passage of 2017 budget

In the first place, the passage of the budget is delayed, but constitutionally, I think last year’s budget expired few days ago. So, to some extent, they may not have breach the constitution by passing the budget now.

Secondly, I have not studied the details of the budget, so I may not be in a position to comment on it.

But that they have passed it at all is a good thing to rejoice about and let us hope that Mr. President will sign it as soon as possible. And that there will be no delay like we saw last year. We are almost half year through, but that they have passed it at all is good for the economy. Budget is an estimate; there is no finality about it because you are projecting income and as we know, presently most of our income depends on crude oil.

But we don’t control the price of crude now and the price of crude oil is not high like we had many years ago. So, for anybody to say that the 2017 budget will get us out recession and so on, to me to a large extent is wishful thinking.

We need to diversify our economy and it is until the substantial part of our revenue comes from non-oil exports that we can really say that our budget will take us out of either recession or give us a definite percentage of growth.

As long as we rely on crude oil, the price of which we do not control and we never know what will happen in the international market, we cannot say the budget will take us out of recession.

Also, there may also be a drop in oil production because it is not yet Uhuru in the Niger Delta. Production has increased but you can never say what will happen because there are still agitations by the oil producing communities. So, every Nigerian should hope that this budget will at least get us out of recession.

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