Economic analysts on Sunday, April 24, 2016, said that the delay in the signing of the 2016 budget into law and the consequent implementation is worsening the economic crisis of the country.
The analysts said by the time the National Bureau of Statistics will release the economic growth data for the first quarter of this year, many Nigerians will realize that the delay in signing the budget has caused tremendous harm to the national economy.
An economist and chief executive officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, told Punch, “The economy grew at 2.11 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2015. When the data for the first quarter of 2016 is out, we will realize that the delay in signing the budget has almost paralyzed economic activities”.
“Apart from the fact that the government is a major player in the economy, many economic sectors and activities are tied to the implementation of the budget. This is why you see that the failure of the government in signing the budget is having adverse effects on the economy,” Chukwu added.
A head of investment advisory and research, Afrinvest West Africa Limited, a Lagos-based investment bank, Ayodeji Ebo, hundreds of companies have refused to sign some contracts and new deals due to the Federal Government’s delay in signing the budget. He insisted that the exacerbated the slow growth the country was experiencing and led to higher level of unemployment.
“The prolonged non-implementation of the budget will continue to affect the economy adversely. Besides, the available liquidity in the economy cannot be increased for the growth of the economy until the budget is signed. The earlier the government does this, the better for us,” Ebo said.
The Nigeria Labour Congress said the delay in signing the budget was unfortunate as it was causing further damage to the country’s already weak economy.
The general secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, told one of our correspondents that the budget was expected to show the policy direction for economic agents to plan.
He said that further delays in implementing the fiscal document would do more damage to the ailing economy but that its immediate assent would bring back some money into the economy and strengthen it.
Ozo-Eson said the organised labour was disappointed that the budget had not been signed into law several months into the year.
He said that while the NLC was supportive of the need to correct observed errors in the budget, such should be done speedily for the budget to be assented to for the implementation to commence.