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2023 Budget: not addressing revenue, debt mitigation – economist

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An economist, Dr Aminu Usman says the 2023 Budget proposal does not address key areas of the nation’s economy which are increased revenue generation and deficits.

Usman, of the Department of Economics at the Kaduna State University, said this in an chat with Newsmen  on Thursday in Abuja.

Recalls that the budget proposal tagged: “Budget of Fiscal Consolidation and Transition’’, was presented to the Joint Session of the National Assembly on Oct. 7.

He said that the N20.5 trillion Budget proposal, just like the previous ones presented by the administration, does not address most of the critical issues with budget implementation.

Usman said said that he had expected a Budget that would be clear on strategies to boost revenue and reduce the inherent deficits below what they were in 2021.

“That did not happen with this budget. Deficit next year is estimated at more than 50 per cent of the total budget and most of it is to be financed by new borrowings at a time when debt service is estimated to be higher than capital expenditure.

“The real question the budget should have answered is how do we continue to service debt at more than capital expenditure and still expect to grow the economy in real terms.

“This budget is termed as transition budget indicating a new Government would be partly responsible for its implementation

“One would have expected a less ambitious budget such that the in-coming administration can when settled in office, ask for a supplementary budget to reflect its new direction and priorities,” he said.

Usman said that whereas the budget was higher than that of the previous year, crude oil production level would likely remain the same if oil theft was not curbed.

He said that in spite of the recent discovery of illegal pipelines used for crude oil theft in the Niger Delta, not much had been done to tackle the menace.

“So by and large, we expect to be more specific in our observations and suggestions after the Hon Minister’s presentation of the budget details at a later day as usual.’’ (NAN)

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