By Isah Kamis Madachi (Ambassador)
Reported by Sameen Y Saeed (DR SYS)
It was on 8th October, 2020, that President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2021 National Budget of 13.08trn to the Joint Session of the National Assembly. Subsequently, it is almost a week since the National Assembly passed the 2021 Appropriation Bill of 13.588trn. Regrettably, the National Assembly has increased the proposed budget with over 500 billion naira that seems to be its running cost; where out of the projected 13.588trn budget, 3.300trn is for the debt servicing; 4.500trn for the capital expenditure and 5.600trn for the cost of governance.
To tell ourselves the truth, there is no future for a country where there is no good roads and railways for safe transportation, drinkable water for the majority who cannot afford to buy table water, standard electricity supply for productivity, education sector that is being devalued and degraded and a pesky insecurity menace that worsens on every blessed day. Yet, the current expenditure (which almost half its percentage will be spent on executive and legislative members) is much higher than that of capital expenditure.
I was shocked when I realized that 5.600trn of the 13.588 trn 2021 proposed budget is going to be spent on such wasteful expenses (recurrent expenditure) despite all the aforementioned problems. Only 4.500trn our disastrous government proposed to spend on building people and their environment, which is capital projects. How many government officials do we have in Nigeria? I think at the highest peak(including their families and aides) they will not reach one million. But sadly, what they have chosen to squander out of the 13.588 projected National Budget is much greater than what is going to be spent on the over 200 million Nigerians, which is so devastating and heartbreaking.
I have been saying it on countless occasions that the federal government should cut down expenditure on recurrent side. If not, we may reach a point where 80% of the national budget will be spent on the recurrent expenses and thus the obnoxious problem of lack of basic amenities which obviously strangulates our national development which results in decrease in foreign investment and poor tourists attraction. With the lingering insecurity, poor transportation facilities and scant electricity supply how would foreigners invest in Nigeria and expect a positive outcome?
May we live long to witness our dear Nigeria recuperating and restoring its normality. Ameen
Written by Isah Madachi (Ambassador) 28th December 2020