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Employers’ body calls for proper utilisation of budgetary allocations

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government on proper utilisation of budgetary allocations and to ensure that revenue leakages are blocked.

The group, in a statement, expressed worry that achieving revenue generation projections has been a major challenge facing the current administration, calling for a more drastic drive to achieve the set targets.

Director-General of NECA, Dr. Timothy Olawale, who applauded the presidency and the National Assembly on the timely signing of the 2021 budget, noted that in the past five years, revenue generation projections have fallen short of about 50 per cent, a situation he said was becoming worrisome.

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Olawale maintained that the government needed to have taken into consideration the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in its projections as contained in the 2021 budget.

He said it was curious that the expenditure was raised from N13.08 trillion to N13.59 trillion without any changes in the revenue component.

He noted that the projected 11.95 inflation rate could be achieved with concerted efforts to stimulate local production.

NECA, in the statement, projected a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 1.5 per cent and a inflation rate of between 13-14 per cent.

It noted that the general volatility associated with oil prices and the ability to meet daily crude oil production targets would challenge the ability of the Federal Government to meet its revenue targets.

“Furthermore, the assumptions for 2021 budget included the price of oil at $40 per barrel from the revised 2020 budget of $28 per barrel, oil production at 1.86m barrels per day, the exchange rate of N379 to US$1 and a projected a Gross Domestic Growth of three per cent, which is very optimistic.

“We call for a comprehensive and deliberate management of the second wave of the COVID-19 in order to reduce the health and economic burden on the economy, as the major concern for the public has been on the implementation of the budget considering the uncertainties the pandemic has caused,” the statement added.

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NECATimothy Olawale
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