- Bismarck Rewane has said that the 2024 budget by Tinubu will not make sense to Nigerians if the cost of living remains high
- Rewane stated in an interview that Nigerians care only about the price of commodities coming down rather than budget figures
- He said the budget needs to start impacting lives in the next six months
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Renowned economist Bismarck Rewane says Nigerians don't care about budgetary figures if the cost of essential commodities like rice, bread, and garri fails to be reduced.
Rewane said this on the Channels Television Programme Business Morning on Thursday, November 30, 2023.
Rewane says the cost of living more important than budget arithmetic
Rewane said budgetary figures are only useful to people when things reduce in the next six months. He said Nigerians can only make sense of the budget if it impacts the price of rice and garri, among others.
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"In the end, budgetary arithmetics, budgetary mathematics in economics, is of no use to anybody except when, by this time, six months if we are buying rice at N40,000 a bag rather than N60,000 a bag if we are buying bread at N900 a big loaf instead of N1,300, which we are doing today. Suppose we are buying garri at lower prices.
"The people are not interested in whether the budget is balanced or what the debt is. How does it (the budget) affect their day-to-day livelihood? That is the key thing."
Tinubu proposes N27.5 trillion budget for 2024
Tinubu listed priority areas like security, job creation, macroeconomic stability, boosting investment environment, and human capital development.
The president fixed recurrent non-debit expenditure at N9,92 trillion, capital expenditure at N8.73 trillion, debt service at N8.25 trillion, revenue at N18.32 trillion, new borrowings at N7.83 trillion, and deficit at N9.18 trillion.
Rewane, the Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, said that Nigerians don't care about figures but how they translate into a better standard of living for them and the impact of government policies, as many are under pressure.
"You will notice that on the streets of Lagos, in particular, the number of lunatics has increased, and part of it is driven by poverty. There are many mental health issues. People are pushed to the wall. Some of them walk across the road, even in moving traffic.
"People need to feel the impact. The impact will not be judged because of 10 or 12% of GDP, N27 trillion; it has to be more. Where is the money going to come from?
Analysts fault Tinubu's budget
Emeka Okoroanyanwu, Business Editor at The Nigerian Xpress Newspaper, faulted Tinubu's budget, stating that it fell short of expectations.
He said the capital expenditure is very disappointing because it boosts the country's capital flow.
"The amount budgeted for capital expenditure is abysmal. You know where contractors are going to be paid. That is where money will circulate in the economy. You can monitor inflation from the capital expenditure, among other things."
He said the government needs to cut down on other areas, such as recurrent expenditure and debt servicing, and invest the funds into capital expenditure.
N27.5trn Budget: President Tinubu lists 7 things to tackle in 2024
Legit.ng reported that President Bola Tinubu has listed his priorities in the 2024 N27.5 trillion Appropriation Bill he presented to the Joint National Assembly on Wednesday, November 28.
Addressing the lawmakers during the presentation of the 2024 budget, the president promised a total overhauling of the internal security of the country to enhance the capabilities of the enforcement so that lives, properties, and investments in the country can be safeguarded.
According to a statement from the presidency, Tinubu said his 2024 budget will prioritize human capital development with special attention to children. He added that human capital remained the major critical resource needed for national development.