With less than seven months to the end of 2014, experts have continued to express concern over the delay in signing this year’s appropriation bill into law.
They noted that the budget tagged: “Budget for Jobs and Inclusive Growth,” has lost out valuable implementation time like previous budgets.
Pan-African rating agency, Augusto & Co, stated this in a report titled: “Can Budget 2014 Correct Nigeria’s Jobless Growth?” obtained at the weekend.
The National Assembly had passed a figure of N4.695 trillion as 2014 Budget before proceeding on Easter break last month, whereas the executive proposed N4.643 trillion.
In addition, there was divergent in the crude oil benchmark. For instance, while the Senate raised the oil benchmark from $74 per barrel to $76.50 per barrel, the House of Representatives passed the budget with a crude oil benchmark of $79.
But Augusto & Co noted: “If Nigeria’s fiscal budget was an item on the shelf of a mart, it would probably have a reading on the package—‘best before: 31-Dec-2014.’
“Even after a month of passing the 2014 appropriation bill, the budget is yet to become an Act of Parliament; because it awaits presidential assent.”
Agusto & Co in its review of the 2014 appropriation bill expressed concern that its process did not consolidate on some of the successes of Budget 2013 especially on timeliness.
It pointed out that the “first fundamental drawback of Budget 2014 is the undue delay of the process,” adding that “at current progress levels, we fear that Budget 2014 could become a half year budget.”
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