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Recovery From Recession is Fragile- Saraki Speaks After Budget Proposal
Saraki Laments at the State of the Economy
Speaking after the 2019 budget proposal of President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Assembly yesterday, Senate President Bukola Saraki has said that the country’s recovering from recession is still fragile.
Sakai who made this statement on Wednesday December 19, explained that the economy has been affected by a down turn in oil price and production, which in turn has also affected businesses.
According to him, the recovery from recession is fragile because failure to diversify the economy has caused reliance on oil which has been experiencing a down turn.
He also made mention of the clashes between farmers and herdsmen experienced during the year as well as the loss of lives to attacks by insurgents.
The senate president also moved that a financial bill be made to support the budget.
“Many businesses closed down and many people lost their jobs during the recent recession. In the same period, we lost innocent citizens to insurgency in parts of the North East, thousands were displaced, and many lives also lost due to clashes between farmers and herders, in addition to the general hardship unleashed by unstable economic winds.
“The recovery from the recession is still fragile. The fundamentals underlying the recovery remain weak, and if unchecked, can lead to dire consequences. The economy still runs on oil and very little progress has been made in terms of diversification. As a result, the expansionary budget policy in effect since 2016, which was aimed at raising spending and stimulating growth in the economy, was not matched by achievable revenue targets. The corollary is higher and rising deficit as well as a considerable debt burden, all due to an unsustainable fiscal stance.
“The under-performance of independent revenues is straining government’s ability to meet its expenditure, especially investments in critical infrastructure. This further exposes government to higher deficit levels which have been largely financed by borrowing.”
“It is for these reasons that the National Assembly required that the 2018 Budget proposal and future ones be accompanied by a Finance Bill, which would give credence to the financial proposals of government. It is one way of establishing credibility in projected revenues. It is imperative, therefore, that a 2019 Finance Bill is submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and approval,” he said.