2019 budget presents opportunity for private sector—Akabueze
The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, has said the proposed N719.4trn national budget presents opportunities for the organised private sector to thrive.
Akabueze stated this in a paper he presented, yesterday, entitled: “Business Opportunities in the Proposed 2019 Federal Government Budget: Prospects and Challenges for the Private Sector.”
The presentation was made at 2019 Budget Roundtable in Kaduna, organised by Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) in collaboration with Budget Research and Development Policy Advocacy Centre and coalition of business organisations in Kaduna State.
Akabueze, who was represented by Mr. Gideon Mitu, Director Expenditure, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, explained that though the Federal Government budget was not enough to fix infrastructure, the focus of capital expenditure allocation in the budget proposal was based on key priorities of the Emergency Recovery Growth Plan.
He identified priority areas of government as agriculture and food security, improved transportation infrastructure, energy sufficiency and industrialisation with focus on small and medium scale enterprises.
He said investment in these areas would be implemented in partnership with the private sector, which he described as the driver of economic growth.
Akabueze said: “About N90.9bn is earmarked for achieving agriculture and food security, through the development of value chain across 30 different commodities, including supply, production, processing, transportation, trading, marketing and export.
“The Federal Government also hoped to improve access to agricultural inputs and facilitate farm-firm linkage. The private sector could provide market, quality check and extension services, especially for small landholders.
“The budget also set aside N153.6bn to ensure energy sufficiency. The private sector can invest in new power generation projects, especially small-scale off-grid projects…”
In her remarks, KADCCIMA President, Hajiya Muheeba Dankaka, said such interaction would improve governments and organised private sector’s understanding of the expectations, challenges and prospects of the budget.