Pat Utomi, a political economy professor and the founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership, has started that the newly enacted 2023 budget would result in severe inflation, job losses, and a collapse of the currency rate.
The analyst who referred to it as a debt servicing budget claimed that the expected figures of N9 trillion in income and N21 trillion in expenditures defied common sense.
He said, “This budget will lead to loss of jobs, massive inflation. It will lead to a collapse of the exchange rate. The reasons are very simple, this is a budget of debt service.
“What is the goal of the Buhari administration, he says he wants to create 100 million jobs in ten years and I ask, can this budget create jobs?
“They project revenue of N9trillion and expenditure of N21 trillion. You are already in an unsustainable debt situation. This doesn’t make any sense to anyone who understands economics.
“If it were a situation where people are rushing in to invest in Nigeria, you would say revenues from taxes that flow in would accelerate production. There is an optimal rate of trying to collect taxes when people don’t invest.
“Nigeria already suffers from a problem, a situation described by Forbes Magazine in 2019 as Africa’s money losing machine. Typically, nobody wants to invest and money has been leaving Nigeria.”
Utomi said he blamed the Buhari-led administration for the country’s economic woes, noting that part of the problem was letting the CBN manage both the fiscal and monetary policies.
“I absolutely blame Buhari’s government for the economic woes we are going through. What they have done in the last eight years has not worked.
“The biggest problem of the government, is ways and means from the Central Bank and currently, 2,900 per cent in printed money from the Central Bank without equivalent value.
“The problem I have is with the civil service and this is why it is important to rebuild the civil service.
“In the early days of this administration, nobody was managing the fiscal policy, then the Central Bank started managing both fiscal and monetary policy, and it went overboard going above its own limit. The ways and means advances in the claim of shooting up economic activities became a routine, violating fiscal responsibility laws.”
Utomi further described the management of economy as “not people friendly, not job creation sensitive, and not economic growth oriented,” adding that the government had become too bloated.
“You have to bring the momentum to a halt. Government is too bloated. We are spending all these money on recurrent expenditure. It is much more than sacking people. Do you know how many civil servants travel with the president on his foreign trips?” he queried.