Must Read!! MY THOUGHTS ON NIGERIA’S 2016 BUDGET. – Pastor Sunday Adelaja
Nigeria for the first time has been able to launch the largest budget in our nation’s history (6.1 trillion naira). Unfortunately, not too many of our people see the major progress and significance of this land mark budget.
Even at the point when the Nigerian crude oil was selling for over 100 USD a barrel as of 2014 for example the price was 112 USD per barrel. Yet we could not have such a budget, despite the record amount of barrels we were producing daily which was over 2 million barrels. So you wonder where the money went that time that it could not be reflected in the budget of the Federal Republic.
The miracle of this budget however is that now that the oil is only selling for about 40 USD per barrel which is just one third of the amount it was two years ago, the conventional logic tells us that our budget should be about three times lower. The more reason why Nigerians should be highly excited for this new government.
This year’s budget alone tells us the following:
1. The government is not planning for some of the oil revenue to disappear and be unaccounted for like in the past.
2. It means the leakages are being blocked in the national economy.
3. This budget means this government is bent on recovering the 300% down fall of our revenue.
4. More so, the government has not only stopped on the level of last year’s budget, but they have actually decided to increase it.
5. That tells us that the government have managed to find ways to create other avenues of income apart from oil. For example, creation of a single treasury account, Solid minerals, agriculture, etc.
6. The budget for the first time in the history of our country allocates 30% to capital expenditure. Before now, most of our income goes mainly for paying salaries not building infrastructure like roads, electricity, etc.
7. In this budget, President Buhari improves funding for transportation by 1428% as against the budget for transportation during President Jonathan’s regime.
This tells us that Nigeria has started getting it right, that infrastructure is the bedrock of modern development. Another thing Nigerians need to applaud this budget for is that the budget for science and technology has increased by 696% as against the last budget. If Nigeria as a government could take these two spheres of economy seriously by putting money behind them, it might be the beginning of the greatness of our nation.
8. All through this year’s budget, one recurrent word that could be read in between the lines is the word, job creation. This budget is clearly geared at reducing poverty and creating jobs for able bodied Nigerians.
9. For the first time in our history there is provision in the national budget for one million most vulnerable Nigerians, which could be the beginning to a welfare system in our country.
10. As people say behind the curtains of national assembly, this is probably the first time in our history when “Ghana Must Go” has not preceded the passing of our budget, so the cleansing process has begun. Now we need to work harder to make sure that it continues.
11. To the skeptics who will say, what about the long delay?
They must be reminded that similar delays were a regular occurrence in our history. Budgets pass in the senate mainly between the months of March and May. Only in exceptional cases were budgets passed earlier than that. Even though this must be corrected, I still believe we need to give this government more time to improve on this their first experience.
12. The obvious benefit of the delay is however undeniable – “the paddings are gone”.
Can you imagine what would have happened if we had passed the budget in a record time as was previously planned? It would have simply become a continuation of our national history of budget/corruption duality. But thank God that with this government, Nigerians could begin to hope again that our long shameful history of padding the budget has come to an end.
These and many other reasons should be enough cause for faith, hope and excitement to my fellow Nigerians.
Even though I am not in Nigeria, but I am well aware of all the hardships and pains millions of Nigerians are subject to on a daily basis. I know that when it comes to the pocket of an average Nigerian, there is yet to be any drastic change in their financial and economic wellbeing. On the surface it is as if the promised change is delayed in coming, yet this is only on the surface. In the real sense the change, the long awaited change, is already here.
As a trained journalist myself, I am so sad to see that our media and television stations are not focusing on these valuable improvements in our national life. Our journalists seem to be more concerned about pursing sensational news that could bring instant followership or readership. I think what Nigerians need right now is journalism of Hope and Faith. We need to help our people build faith for a better future, build faith in themselves and build faith in their new leadership.
Despite all the things that have not been done by this government of their promises, let us rather focus on what they have done in the short time they have had. Let us build out faith on this little beginning so that the seed of our faith will result in the harvest of abundant change in the near future of our national life.
As with the case of David, what helped him confront his goliath was the faith and conviction he had in his modest victories over the bear and the lion. Let us look for the modest victory of this new government and hang our faith and trust in it, that upon this modest successes, we shall experience greater victories under this administration.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja