The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has urged ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to expedite the implementation of the 2018 budget to make up for lost time.
Alaba Lawson, the national president of the association in a statement said the budget was a fundamental framework for strategic planning and decision making by both the public and private sectors, and its delay had far reaching implications on the economy.
“NACCIMA reiterates its long-held and well known position that the act of late passage of annual budgets is neither good for the economy or our nation’s developmental aspirations for inclusive growth and sustainable development,” the statement said.
“It is particularly not helpful to the private sector which government has acknowledged as the engine of growth and development of the economy,” Alaba added.
She said the private sector was concerned with deductions in the allocations to some key projects in health, security and infrastructure, which had been earmarked for implementation in the 2018 budget.
“While we acknowledge the statutory role of the legislature in reviewing the budget, we counsel that these projects be reconsidered for approval as soon as Mr President presents the supplementary budget to the legislature as promised in his speech,” she said.
She urged the legislature and executive branches of government to devise consultative mechanisms that would ensure quick passage and assent of the yearly budget toward aiding economic stability and growth.
President Muhammadu Buhari on June 20 signed the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N9.12 trillion into law after seven months of its submission to National Assembly.
Buhari, however, noted that the National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.
The President said “many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation.