2024 budget :
MAJAN faults FG on N8.2trn approval for debt servicing
…Says debt servicing killing Nigeria’s economy
…Harps on blue economy as solution to debt overhang
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN),
has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for signing 2024 budget benchmark of N28.7 trillion into law.
The Association also applauded the two arms of the National Assembly for immediate
passage of the 2024 appropriation bill, though it was increased from N27.5 trillion initially proposed by President Tinubu to N28.7 trillion that was eventually signed into law.
However, the Association expressed displeasure on a huge amount of N8.2 trillion budgeted for debt services, stressing that debt servicing is killing the nation’s economy.
MAJAN called on President Tinubu to focus more on harnessing the potentials abound in blue economy, in order to generate more internal revenue and curtail excessive borrowings.
MAJAN as an Association, made these comments after analysing the key estimates of the budget as a group.
The Association believes strongly that the Federal Government can cut down on foreign loans if it looks inward, invests more in blue economy to stimulate income flow for the country, now and in the lon-run.
“A whopping sum of N8.2trn allocated for debt servicing alone is enough to build infrastructure across the country. This is the time for President Tinubu to focus on blue economy for economic sustainability. We can’t go on borrowing and spending so much to service the debt”, MAJAN advised.
The Association stressed that the President has taken a bold step in creating a ministry of blue economy; but more pragmatic measures should be taken to walk the talk and achieve results within the shortest possible time.
In the budget analysis,the sum of N10 trillion is approved for capital expenditure, recurrent expenditure takes N8.8 trillion; debt services takes a huge sum of N8.2 trillion, while N1.7 trillion goes into statutory transfers.
Increase in the budget amount reflected extra N1.2 trillion from what was proposed previously.
Also, the President harped on more funding for the Judiciary to promote justice in the system. As such, the statutory transfer for the Judiciary was increased from N165billion to N342, to enhance efficiency at all times.
Beyond all these ,it is also the considered view of MAJAN that
the issue of unemployment should take the front buner.we believe that by creating jobs and providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive ,would also help in curtailing foreign borrowings and help build a robust economy.
Government should do more on strengthening infrastructures.Attention should be given to provision of regular power supply,which has caused most companies in Nigeria to either lock shop or relocate to other countries where there is steady power supply.The cost of doing business is Nigeria has greatly increased thus,resulting in so many companies relocating and some downsizing their workforce,and this further puts a strain on the already terrible job market.
The road network in the country should be tackled.The cost of transporting goods and services from one location to another is very exorbitant
All these are contributory factors to inflation and high cost of commodities in the country.
Therefore,President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should in the spirit of renewed hope agenda ,ensure that the 2024 budget takes cognizance of the aforementioned issues by making sure that the implementation of the budget is done with utmost sincerity and integrity.This ,in our view, is the right path to renewed hope.