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Sequel to the presentation of ‎N7.298 trillion, as the 2017 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly, on Wednesday, December 14, by President Muhammadu Buhari, Economic and Financial Experts have begun to give different reactions.
A breakdown of the budget, indicated that ‎N419 billion was allocated for Statutory Transfers, N1.66 trillion for Debt Service, N2.9 trillion for Non-Debt Recurrent Expenditure, and N2.24 trillion for Capital Expenditure.
‎The President had while speaking, assured Nigerians that his administration was determined to ensure a departure from dependence on imported goods ,to locally made products, capable of recovering the nation’s comatose economy from recession.
Meanwhile, Economic and Financial Experts, having appraised the proposed sum and allocations to different sectors of the economy, ‎have commended President Buhari, for a job well done.
Although, some have argued that the budget might not be implemented, as the factors that affected the partial implementation of the 2016 budget, have not been adequately dealt with.
‎One of such is an Abuja based Developmental ‎Economist, Katch Ononuju, who in an exclusive interview with Post-Nigeria, noted that: “If he (Buhari) could not implement over 50 percent of the 2016 budget due to lack of funds, orchestrated by the fall in crude oil price, Niger Delta ‎militancy, forex crisis, among several other factors, how do you think he would be able to implement the 2017 budget?.
“Although, sectorial allocations ‎were aligned appropriately, capable of stimulating local growth, if eventually fully implemented; ‎what I think the President should do urgently, is looking at possible ways on how to manage those variables that affected the 2016 budget, in a bid to effectively deliver the 2017 budget.
“While it is too early to pass judgement, the truth must be spoken, because the same factors that inhibited the full implementation of this year’s budget, are still very visible before our own eyes”, Ononuju said.
Meanwhile, President Buhari, has assured Nigerians that his administration would ensure a new era, where Nigerians would consume locally made products.

He said, ‎”For many years, we depended on oil for foreign exchange revenues. In the days of high oil prices, we did not save, we squandered.
“We wasted our large foreign exchange reserves to import nearly everything we consume.
“Our food, our clothing, our manufacturing inputs, our fuel, and much more.
“In the past 18 months, when we experienced low oil prices, we saw our foreign exchange earnings cut by about 60 percent.
‎”Also, our reserves eroded, and our consumption declined, as we could not import to meet our needs.
“By importing nearly everything, we provide jobs for young men and women in the countries that produce what we import, while our own young people wander around jobless.
“‎By preferring imported goods, we ensure steady jobs for the nationals of other countries, while our own farmers, manufacturers, engineers, and marketers, remain jobless.
‎”We will CHANGE our habits, and we will CHANGE Nigeria.
“We will patronise local entrepreneurs. We will promote the manufacturing powerhouses in Aba, Calabar, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Nnewi, Onitsha, and Ota.
‎”From light manufacturing, to cement production, and petrochemicals, our objective is to make Nigeria a new manufacturing hub.
“Today, the demand of the urban consumer has presented an opportunity for the rural producer.
“Across the country, our farmers, traders and transporters, are seeing a shift in their fortunes.
‎”Nigerians who preferred imported products, are now consuming made in Nigeria products.
‎”From Argungu in Kebbi, to Abakalaki in Ebonyi, rice farmers and millers are seeing their products move.
“We must replicate such success in other staples like wheat, sugar, soya, tomato, and dairy products,” Buhari said.

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