It’s almost a year since Muhammadu Buhari took the top most job in Nigeria after promising an overwhelming economic turnover that would make the country strengthen its per capita income under his regime.
Oluseun Onigbinde is the founder of the group Budgit a company that works to simplify budgets and get ordinary Nigerians to understand them better.
“When the president presented the budget on December 20, 2015, from the policy standpoint, it looked like a fair proposition but when the details trickled in, when it was presented, the capital expenditure rose from 775 billion to over 1.8 trillion Naira so it looked like something that looked good but by the time you check into line items that makes up the capital expenditure, it doesn’t still show a country in the mood of austerity,” he said.
It is nearly impossible because a zero based budget puts the baseline as zero
Africa’s biggest economy is already facing a timid pressure on the already built up inflation as the country is operating in an almost zero budget.
“There’s still no clear policy guide and I think until you tackle that and you build in a zero based budget and you start early, we do things in a rush, the ministers came in November, we want a zero based budget by December, it is nearly impossible because a zero based budget puts the baseline as zero, it starts from zero, it assumes that nothing is going on before and it begins to plan on existing infrastructure,” said Oluseun.
With a fall in the global oil prices, Nigeria is exploring on better ways to to diversify from oil to other sectors like agriculture. Already the Industry Minister Okechukwu Enelamah unveiled his long-awaited plan to develop non-oil industries.
“Our industrialization ambition is hinged on the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP launched by the previous government in 2014. It is now time to move that comprehensive document from plan to action. It is now our duty to implement that plan in the light of current realities,” he said.
Nigeria’s currency is already facing devaluation against th US dollar but President Buhari declared he will not depreciate the Naira’s value. Buhari has previously maintained that devaluation will only result in further inflation and hardship for the poor and middle classes in Africa’s largest economy.