Stakeholders task government on budget implementation
Stakeholders in the Nigeria’s oil sector have emphased the need for the Federal Government to ensure full implementation of the 2018 budget.They stressed the need for the Federal Government to ensure the execution of capital projects in the country by awarding contracts to only credible contractors in the country.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday on the budget, Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of The Institute of Credit Administration, Dr. Chris Onalo, said that the Federal Government has not been effective in the implementation of the various national budgets.
He said that the Federal Government should be able to give account of how the N8.6 trillion 2018 budget is spent.According to him, implementation of the 2018 budget is something the Federal Government should work very hard to achieve. “The implementation is a bulk of work and specifically we expect that capital projects are executed without delay. A situation whereby contractors collect money for projects without proper execution should be discouraged in this 2018 budget,” he added.
He urged the Federal Government to pay special attention to road construction and power generation in order to attract more investment into the economy. “Roads are in a bad shape and the manufacturing sector in still comatose. These are what the Federal Government should be more concern about in the 2018 budget,” he said.
Onalo frowned at the rising cost of doing business in Nigeria, which he said, still remain a source of concern in the country. He added: “The budget should be implemented with all transparency, commitment and patriotism because Nigerians have waited for too long and I think the budget represents the strength of Nigeria. We need to see that the budget is transparent in its entire process.”
Speaking also on the issue, the Chief Executive Officer of Mitega International Limited, Oil Pipeline Security Expert, Ibuje Israel, said that there are deemed expectation on the accurate monitory of the 2018 budget.
“The amount budgeted is not the issue, the problem has always been lack of adequate monitory. The Federal Government should ensure that it gives full account of how the N8.6 trillion is spent at the end of the day.”
Israel stressed the need for the Federal Government to deal with corruption in the oil and gas sector so as to reap the benefits of the benchmark for oil prices. “There is corruption within the oil sector. What is stolen is more that what is being declared daily in terms of crude oil production. Government needs to purge the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of corruption.”
The Managing Partner, Emmanuel Emielu, believed that with the Egina project adding 200,000 barrels per day to Nigeria’s crude oil production in 2018, the 2.3 million barrels per day projection by the Federal Government is attainable.
Emielu stated: “If the Niger Delta remain stable, the target may be sustainable. But, we may run into trouble should the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) insist Nigeria cap crude oil production at 1.8 million barrels per day.
“On the crude oil price benchmark for 2018 budget, $45 per barrel is fair for the country. As we can see lately, there has been increase in crude oil prices, due to political crisis in some parts of the world and it looks like Shale is finding it hard to affect crude oil prices at the moment.”