Abuja — Members of House of Representatives have urged the Federal Government to increase the capital budget benchmark it has attained so far this year in order to sustain the country’s exit from recession.
In a chat with The Guardian, Kehinde Odeneye representing APC, Ogun State said the 40 per cent funding for capital projects, which the government claims to have achieved so far in 2017 is insufficient to stabilize the economy and avoid it from relapsing into another round of recession.
Most worrying, Odeneye said, is government’s insistence to wind up capital budgets funding by December this year, a situation he said might lead to shortfalls in contracts mobilisation and payments.
“This year’s budget has not been adequately funded. If this is done, money will circulate and Nigerians will feel the impact of exiting recession. “In this way, also, exchange rate will go down, investments will increase and capital projects will be adequately funded.
“A situation where only about N350 billion has been funded out of N2.6 trillion capital budgets in 2017 and the government is insisting on closing the funding for the year by December, is worrisome.
“You will recall that we met 65 per cent capital budget funding in 2016, which was fairly better than what we are witnessing now,” he added. On his part, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia) cautioned the government against actions and policies that could make the country slide back to recession.
He suggested reviews in the country’s monetary and fiscal policies to include enhancement of inter-banking relations for sustaining the economy. He however urged citizens to be patient while hoping that things would soon get better.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently announced an end to the country’s economic recession, with economic growth of 0.55 per cent in the second quarter of 2017.