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How 2019 budget can shore up investors’ confidence — Experts, NSE, LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

Full and proper implementation of the 2019 budget will shore up investors’ confidence in the Nigerian economy, some experts and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have told Daily Trust.

Though President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to assent to the budget, experts said speedy implementation would save the country of slipping back into recession.

They also expect the full and proper implementation of the budget to trigger increased tempo in economic activities including shoring up investors’ sentiments in the stock market.

“I hope the executive arm does not have any qualms with the slight upward adjustment made by the legislatives to the size of the budget which were mainly in respect of matters that manifested only after the proposals had been submitted such as the need to address the fallout of the carnage in Zamfara state, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, the Head of Department of Banking and Finance, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, told Daily Trust.

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He added: ‘’I expect this development to trigger increased tempo in economic activities including shoring up investors’ sentiments in the stock market.”

The Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema at a recent extract of the outlook for 2019 had said swift approval and implementation of the 2019 budget would have a positive impact on companies’ earnings as well as consumer spending.

“Accordingly, we anticipate volatility in equities markets first half of 2019, with enhanced stability post-elections.

“Therefore, we expect an uptick in market activity during the second half of 2019,” he added.

LCCI seeks speedy signing of budget

Meanwhile, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has commended the Senate for the passage of the 2019 budget and called for expeditious signing of the bill into law.

Mr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General of LCCI, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.

NAN reports that the Senate passed the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N8.916 trillion on April 30.

The budget is N86 billion higher than the proposal of N8.83 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly on Dec. 19, 2018.

A breakdown of the budget estimate reveals that the budget for statutory transfer is N502.58 billion, N2.25 trillion is for debt servicing, recurrent expenditure is N4.65 trillion, while N2.94 trillion is for capital expenditure.

Yusuf urged President Buhari to assent to the bill once it was transmitted to him by the National Assembly.

“We are aware that the President is not in the country, but we expect the bill to be signed into law immediately he returns to the country,” he said.

Yusuf said that areas that required review should be done fast, saying that the economy needed the budget as impetus to boost productivity, employment, and infrastructure development.

“We hope that as this administration starts its second term and the ninth Assembly resumes, we would return to a January to December budget cycle,” he said.

He said that January to December budget cycle would ensure stability, reduce uncertainty and boost investors’ confidence in budget implementation and performance.

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