Rafsanjani said, “On deficit budget, over time the budget of the country has been on an incremental deficit year in year out, this also means that a considerable amount of the budget will come with attendant borrowing to fund a major chunk of the budget.
“This also comes with the demand to use a huge percentage of the budget to service the loans and borrowings. You can agree that if we use two out of three parts of the budget to service the loans, the budget’s tendency of delivering good development is already compromised.
“Frivolous items in the budget, the reoccurring issue of having some undefined and non-specific line items in the budget every year and also the incidence of repetitive items in the budget year in – year out is an anti-development strategy which gets the same items repeated every year without any proper evaluation of how the previous year was used and the efficiency.
“Proposed VAT increase; the high point of the entire budget is on the proposed VAT increase which will only increase burden on the poor, through unbearable high prices of consumables, there is no effort to curb the finances that are flowing away out the country illicitly, which are majorly from the commercial activities of Multinational companies through their evasive practices.
“It is worth to note that the amount alleged from this activity can increase the budget tremendously and deliver development rather than increasing VAT that will only deter the standard of living in Nigeria. Also, the increased cost of governance – an increase in the number of ministers does not increase any form of efficiency.
“Key priorities for the socio-economic sector; like other years, the financial allocation to the Socio-economic sectors – Health, Education, and Agriculture did not see any considerable increase. While the power sector which has been privatised and supposed to have been yielding income to the Federal Government of Nigeria is gulping about N15 billion higher than the allocation to UBEC, it becomes worrisome on how much of a people-oriented budget it is going to be.”
He, however, called on the National Assembly not to be in a hurry to pass the budget but should take time to do a thorough and detailed work on the proposed budget.
“We ask that there should be strategic planning which is time-bound, with an incremental investment in infrastructure.
Banking January 6, 2020