By Abubakar Yunusa
A business advisory consultant, Wole Ogundare, says the 2024 budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu does not inspire hope when the projected GDP growth rate is compared to the population growth rate.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme on Saturday, Ogundare, who tagged the appropriation ‘budget of coasting along,’ said any budget of hope will be one where the GDP growth rate is around 7 to 10 percent.
“When you look at the assumptions, the first thing I typically look at is the growth rate. So the macroeconomic framework tend to force you to look at the growth rate. The President projected a 3.76 growth rate; if you look at that growth rate, how does it really make sense?
“You compare it to the population growth rate in Nigeria. Our population growth rate today is about 2.5, so if you look at 2.5 population growth rate relative to a 3.76 GDP growth, it tells you immediately that this is not a budget of hope, it is a budget of coasting along. Let us just coast along for now.
“Any budget of hope will be something where the growth rate is about 7 to 10 per cent. So, I guess the guys in charge are being very careful not to overestimate their position, which is why they say, ’look, let us just coast along’. So anything around hope, forget it; Nigerians should just forget it for now because there is nothing hopeful around it,” Ogundare who is also an accountant, said.
According to him, this is far from the budget that will end most of the economic problems facing Nigeria at the moment.
“This is not the budget for me that will reduce the japa syndrome; it is not the budget that will also create some huge industrialisation or human capital, massive development, or a budget that can encourage employment—none of those things. This is just let’s coast along for now and all the indicators seem to speak to this,” he added.
Also speaking on the programme, the Managing Director of Cowry Asset Management Ltd., Johnson Chukwu, said the proposed budget is not too different from others before it, lamenting the continued increase of recurrent expenditure.
“We have not seen any strategic initiative that will bring down recurrent expenditure. We have seen a consistent increase in the recurrent expenditure of the government because the structure on which you incur recurrent expenditure is being expanded,” Chukwu said.
President Tinubu presented the budget proposal to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
He said the proposed N27.5 trillion 2024 budget will ensure micro-economic stability, poverty reduction, and greater access to social security, amongst others.
He highlighted priority areas such as security, local job creation, macro-economic stability, investment environment optimisation, human capital development, poverty reduction, and social security.