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|Budget Implementation: Key To Nigeria’s Recovery by Ayemokhia: 2:33am On Apr 03, 2010|
It is often said that Nigeria produces the best annual budget in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. This assertion cannot be doubted because the nation is blessed with an intimidating array of top class financial experts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and ministries in charge of Finance, Planning, and Budget. Ordinarily, this huge advantage should have helped to drive Nigeria up the ladder of developing nations in the world. Nigeria could have by now been counted among the first twenty industrialized nations on earth. These two significant feats would have been achieved even if the federal and state governments had strived to achieve a moderate 60% budget implementation benchmark since 1997. Twelve years are enough time for any oil-rich nation like Nigeria to lay a solid foundation for massive industrialization agenda. This would have no doubt helped to solve the perennial problems associated with high unemployment figures, which has also given impetus to the ravaging force of poverty. High level youth unemployment and poverty are two major causes of increasing crime rate in the country.
Over the years, poor budget implementation by the executive arm of government at the local, state, and federal levels has sabotaged key public infrastructure such as transport, power, and communication among others. This sad development has unfortunately led to a steady increase in the cost of doing business in Nigeria in the last ten years. Apart from scaring away foreign investors, several multi-national companies have either relocated to neighbouring countries or are contemplating doing so. Nigeria has painfully missed several opportunities of being a preferred country of destination for international investors. ( Continues below…, )
A very close observation of the state of the nation would lead one to the bitter conclusion that the political class has not been able to appreciate the relationship between effective budget implementation and national development. Budgeting is an integral component of constitutional democracy. Apart from promoting transparency and accountability in public fund management, budgeting is also a fiscal instrument for self assessment. Post budget review activities are used to gauge overall performance. Through this effort, improvements are made in subsequent exercises.
It is also necessary to note that complete budgeting protocol entails effective planning, monitoring, and implementation of recurrent and capital proposals. But regrettably, budgeting culture in Nigeria mostly begins and end with planning alone. Oversight functions carried out by the legislative arm of government in the past as it concerns budget monitoring have been nothing but mere window dressings. This fact has helped to condemn budgets as mere annual rituals. Poor budget implementation in Nigeria is a huge indictment on both the executive and legislative arms of government at the local, state, and federal levels.
In all advanced and most developing countries, citizens and the organised private sector await annual budget release with nostalgia. This is so because, budget outlines government’s current fiscal policies. These policies in turn shape the socio-economic outlook for the year. With this, investment options and directions are made. Budgets are also used by the electorates to measure campaign promises made by politicians. But owing to widespread political apathy and high illiteracy level in Nigeria, politicians are still able to deceive the citizenry about their achievements. For instance, it is common to hear government officials boast of the number of projects they have executed. Interestingly, these officials will never attempt to relate their achievements with the overall budget proposals for the period under review. This can be termed as budget fraud. ( Continues below…, )
Photo Above: Nigerian Naira Notes
It is very sad to note that no state or federal administration in Nigeria have been able to achieve up to a mere 45% annual budget implementation level in the last twelve years. Administration officials are always quick to blame abysmal budget performance on dwindling revenue. The truth is that, our leaders do not still understand the actual meaning of political power in a constitutional democracy. Political power is all about offering quality leadership to better the lots of man and society. On the strength of this, any politician that cannot mobilise available human and material resources for human and societal development, do not have anything doing in government. Such persons should either resign or be sent packing by the masses. Under sound political leadership, Nigeria can survive even without oil and electorates. The nation’s deep rooted culture of tribalism and corruption are some of the factors militating against full budget implementation. Enough political will must therefore be mustered to eliminate tribalism and corruption from government business and activities. It is no longer secret that tribalism and corruption are the root causes of Nigeria’s many socio-political problems. As long as they remain unchecked, Nigerian masses will never taste the dividends of democracy.
With a population of about 150m, effective budget monitoring and implementation remains one sure route to Nigeria’s economic and socio-infrastructural rejuvenation. The other important task the federal government should embark on immediately is the diversification of the nation’s economic framework by way of strengthening the non-oil sector. This will effectively tackle the problems of dwindling revenue. The time has come for the nation’s political leaders to realise that apart from economic stagnation and the resultant collapse of public infrastructure, continuous failure by government to achieve budget targets may lead to serious civil actions, which are capable of threatening the fragile democratic culture in the country.
For now, the over 130m poor Nigerian masses living below poverty line are at the receiving end of poor budget implementation. This is so because, even with failed budgets, the elites- political office holders live far above poverty line. The frustrations suffered by Nigerian masses have turned the country into an oil-spill field. They are just waiting for a match stick. It would definitely be bloody. Rifles and tanks would be turned on the masses. In all of these, the truth would always remain. Nigerian elites do not have the arsenal to kill the underlying spirit of truth, which the Nigerian masses have on their side. This is the time for the political class to climb down from their Olympian height and reason with the masses. Nigeria belongs to both worlds- Affluence and Poverty
|Re: Budget Implementation: Key To Nigeria’s Recovery by Seun(m): 9:44pm On Apr 21, 2010|
Any interest in this topic?
|Re: Budget Implementation: Key To Nigeria’s Recovery by maro23(m): 9:02pm On Dec 08, 2010|
It's a beautiful write-up. I strongly agree with most of the things you said. Budget implementation is a good thing and if this can be done in Nigeria things will be a lot better. If and only if it can be implemented.
I have a problem with the statement that Nigeria has one of the best bugdets in sub saharan africa. If it is terms of the amount in dollars yes, but if its in terms of what the people need I'd scream a resounding NO!
Two thirds of the N4.6 trillion budget is used on govt. overhead. Only N1.7trillion is for capital development. 5 items where listed
1. Human Development
2. Land Reforms and food security
3. Human Security
4. Law and order
5. Niger Delta
I think that's a brief summary of the 2010 budget.
As far as I'm concerned its senseless. How can two thirds of everything go to govt?
The highest paid govt. official shouldn't earn more than twice the minimum wage. (with all the allowances included). Senators should be based permanently in their constituencies. Meetings should be held using laptops provided by their communities.
If this can be done we'd have more money to spend then maybe we can talk about budget implematation
By the way N4.6 trillion is not enough to solve the problems of over 130 million Nigerians!
|Re: Budget Implementation: Key To Nigeria’s Recovery by maro23(m): 9:11pm On Dec 08, 2010|
From the bugetary allocation, I'm not sure Nigeria belongs to both the affluent and the poor
|Re: Budget Implementation: Key To Nigeria’s Recovery by ladi02(m): 9:25pm On Dec 08, 2010|
lol, i have suggested the Ministeries work 24hrs. . because we have a lot of catching up to do. .maybe it can help with implementation of our budget also!
|Re: Budget Implementation: Key To Nigeria’s Recovery by maro23(m): 9:34am On Dec 09, 2010|
Ministers really need to work hard but really 24hours is asking for too much. Jokes aside, I wasn't joking with any of the suggestions I made though they sound a little weird and funny
I think if the monetary rewards of politics/governance is removed then it won't be attractive anymore to the greedy crooks we have presently. Personally, I think the reason why the budget is never fully implemented is that it is simply not enough for all the projects. Imagine a scenario where a road cost N25 million to fix. And different contractors are asked to make quotations. Most of the time, the contract will go to the one with the lowest figures maybe N20 million. And when the contractor go to get the money to start, he might be told to sign for N20 million but he'd only get N12 million. What do you expect him to do?
We simply need to increase our production levels in Nigeria. This will greatly reduce the need for crime.
Budget implementation will be the key to Nigeria's recovery, if and only if we can decide to put the first things first (assigning more than 1/2 the budget to production/building of industry), else we'd continue chasing white shadows!
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