A team of financial experts on Friday expressed worries that the late passage of 2014 budget would impact negatively on the ongoing development of capital projects across the nation.
They told newsmen in Lagos that another major impediment facing the budget would be poor implementation.
Prof. Sheriffadeen Tella of the Department of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, said the budget was already too late.
Tella said that the late passage would affect budget implementation, especially in the area of capital projects.
According to him, budget delays contrary to other opinions have a multiplier effect on sectoral expansion and employment generation.
Mr. Harrison Owoh, the Managing Director, H J Trust & Investment Ltd., said the budget would promote corruption.
Owoh said that many ministries would engage in fraudulent spending to avoid return of unspent funds to government coffers by December 2014.
Mr. Bayo Adeleke, National Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, also commended the National Assembly for passing the budget in spite the high level of politicking.
Adeleke said that politicking delayed the budget passage which was contrary to the National Assembly’s earlier pledge that it would be passed before the end of 2013.
“The implementation of the budget and its eventual impact on the living standard of Nigerians are the real issues,”Adeleke said.
The Senate and House of Representatives recently passed the 2014 budget totaling N4.695 trillion.
It was N52.2bn higher than the N4.642trn submitted by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Breakdown of the approved budget showed that N408.69 billion was earmarked for statutory transfers, N712 billion for debt service while recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure stood at N2.45 trillion and N1.12 trillion respectively.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Dec. 19, presented N4.6 trillion proposal for 2014 fiscal year.
A breakdown of the proposed budget showed that N3.7 trillion, representing 72 per cent, covers recurrent expenditure, while N1.1 trillion was earmarked for capital projects.
Okonjo-Iweala said that the budget would focus on job creation and inclusive growth.