The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has said that the reported improvement in the nation’s economy is still largely reflected in government figures and statistics and not having direct bearings on the citizenry.
Executive Director of the centre Auwal Musa Rafsanjani at a state of the nation media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja said also said that poor implementation of the nation’s budget of not more than 20 percent is worrisome and should be immediately addressed in the interest of national security.
He expressed concern over the on-going fuel scarcity rocking the nation and crippling economic activities due to what he said was triggered by lack of sufficient reserve, low clearance speed of petrol at the ports and diversion of products.
“We are bothered that the reported improvement in the economy is still largely reflected in government figures and statistics. The high level of unemployment at 18.8 percent generally and 33.10 percent for youths, backlog of unpaid salaries, epileptic power supply and recently the crisis hardship created by the non-availability of petroleum products are sad reminders of a poorly managed economy.
“The poor level of budget implementation of the 2017 budget is lamentable. Apart from the delay in the passage of budgets, an implementation level of less than 20 percent calls for serious concerns. It is bad enough that capital allocations are usually inadequate and frivolous. Wasteful provisions, poor disbursement and utilization only create economic uncertainties and negatively impacts on the welfare of citizens,” Rafsanjani said.
While saying that the 2018 budget is not close to being passed despite April projection for its passage, he said that this is a recipe for economic crisis and avenue for corruption and unapproved spending which could be diverted for political party or selfish uses by the various MDAs in a pre-election year.
He therefore called for immediate and holistic action by relevant authority to address discrepancy in pricing including landing cost and cost of petroleum product.
He also urged concrete overhaul of the nation’s budget making process to make it more open, transparent and result-oriented as the adoption of open budget, open data and open contracting, as committed to in the Open Government Partnership Action Plan must fully take immediate effect.