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‘Improved revenue performance critical to budget implementation’

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Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze

Achieving development objectives in the Federal Government’s 2020 budget requires improved revenue performance, and effective implementation of projects and programmes, Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, has said. Akabueze, who noted that the public budget is key to improving economic performance and national development, called on private sector investors to leverage the many opportunities that exist in the 2020 Appropriation Bill.

The proposed budget, the government said, is intended to further reposition the economy on the path of higher, inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth, as well as create jobs. Reiterating its commitment to strengthening partnerships with the private sector, the government also encouraged prospects to invest in infrastructure being concessioned through private-public partnerships (PPPs).

Speaking on, “Effective Budget Execution and Management-Recipe for National Development” at the 2019 Annual Public Lecture of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Mangement of Nigeria (CIPM), Akabueze, who was represented by the Senior Technical Adviser in the Budget Office, Prof. Olumide Ayodele, gave an overview of the 2020 budget. He said government is committed to finding the resources for infrastructural investment to create a favourable environment for the private sector to increase their investments, and significantly contribute to economic growth and job creation. He said: “Key assumptions driving the budget are realistic, derived from extensive and robust modelling with comparative analysis.

“Achieving FGN 2020 budget objectives require bold, decisive, and urgent action. Government has always maintained a comparative posture to oil benchmark price. Government is determined to act as may be required.”

In his submission, Managing Director, Bond Global Energy Projects Limited, Tunde Decemo, who specifically listed the challenges with budget execution and development plans, said inherent risks and uncertainties, long delays before budget passage, major amendments to the original document, corruption, lack of commitment and public service inefficiency among others, hinder effective implementation of plans.

He stressed the need for national development to be tied to budget and as well for it to be realistic.Another discussant, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, who noted that growing the economy is all about growing the budget, called for a favourable environment for private sector businesses to thrive.On the country’s debt profile, Yusuf described it as a scenario, which is not in alignment with the aspiration to build infrastructure and a competitive economy.

According to him, government’s capacity to fund infrastructure is progressively becoming weak, about 20 per cent of the budget. High infrastructure deficit, he said, has impact on productivity, job creation, poverty reduction, and economic diversification among others.

Earlier in his remarks, President and Chairman of the Governing Council, CIPM, Wale Adeniran, called for more attention on the public sector, which he described to as being pivotal driver to national development. He also called on the government to build capacity of public servants, to provide an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.He said, “A nation’s development lies solely in the determination of its people who contribute to its growth. If we implement the formulation of procedures for effective budgetary controls, then we can boldly expect a greater future.”

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