Mixed reactions have trailed the 2018 Budget proposal of N8.6 trillion, shortly after it was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari before a Joint Session of the National Assembly in Abuja.
Some lawmakers expressed satisfaction with the Budget which has a nominal increase of 16 per cent above the 2017 Budget estimate and tagged “Budget of Consolidation”’.
Kabiru Marafa (APC-Zamfara) said it was a Budget of hope and a realistic one, looking at its parametres.
“There are various indications that the budget proposal is realistic. For instance, the oil benchmark of 64 dollars per barrel as against 45 dollars per barrel in the 2017 Budget will help in its implementation when passed and assented to.
“Also, the promise made by President Buhari during the presentation that the aspirations of Niger Delta people would be looked into, would improve crude oil production.
“Even with the sectoral allocation, I believe it is a Budget for the common man.”
Magnus Abe (APC-Rivers) said the Budget proposal was realisable.
He said that from the presentation, every part of the country got something out of the Budget.
“Everybody looking for the prospect of the economy got a glimmer of the hope from the Budget proposal presented today.
“We need to do what we ought to do not to lose time while we re-organise the Budget from January to December, by rolling over some of the projects and plans for 2017.”
Implementing the 2017 Budget
However, Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP-Abia) said his concern was the implementation of the 2017 budget.
He also stressed that it was the implementation of the Budget that would impact positively on the people.
“I am speaking on behalf of Nigerians as a Senator that we should talk more about implementation than applauding the presentation of the Budget proposal.
“That is why I am insisting that we should know the level of implementation of the 2017 Budget before we talk of 2018.
“On the face value, N8.6 trillion is an increment over 2017 estimate but what is the level of implementation of the previous Budget?,” he querried.