Employment generation and security top peoplesâ€™ expectations for 2012 as they told BUKKY OLAJIDEhttp://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72663:budget-2012-employment-generation-as-antidote-to-security-crisis-&catid=30:money-watch&Itemid=593
FOR Budget 2012, financial experts, analysts and stakeholders have called on the Federal Governmenr to, among other things, take employment generation seriously followed by security and others. They decried the fact that allocation to security appears like throwing money at national problems.
Despite appropriating about 25 per cent of the budget to security in 2011, the situation has degenerated, says Eze Onyekpere, a legal practitioner and lead director, Centre for Social Justice.
Meanwhile, the 2012 Appropriation Bill is tagged a budget of fiscal consolidation, inclusive growth and job creation and anchored on four major pillars namely, macroeconomic stability, structural reforms, governance and institutions.
It is therefore based on the following macroeconomic indicators: oil production of 2.48 million barrels per day, a benchmark price of $70 per barrel, exchange rate of N155/US$, projected growth rate of 7.2 per cent and inflation rate of 9.5 per cent.
The aggregate expenditure is N4.749 trillion, which is a six per cent increase over the N4.484 trillion appropriated in 2011 and is broken down as follows: N398 billion for statutory transfers, N560 billion for debt service, N2.472 trillion for recurrent (non debt) expenditure and N1.32 trillion for capital expenditure.
The capital budget represents 28 per cent of the overall proposal as against the 26 per cent for the year 2011 while the recurrent expenditure came down from 74.4 per cent to 72 per cent of the overall proposal. The fiscal deficit is projected at 2.77 per cent of the GDP as against 2.96 per cent 2011.
Tola Odukoya of DunnLorrenMer
rifieldâ€™s key observations in the 2012 budget is that recurrent expenditure remains high at almost three times the size of capital expenditure. There should be clear cut plan that will indicate how the Federal Government is going to embark on serious fiscal consolidation that is, drastic reduction in public sector recurrent expenditure.
Also, he said, debt service is 12 per cent of the total budget proposal whilst education and healthcare are 10.51 per cent and 5.95 per cent respectively.
â€œThis is an unpleasant indication of Nigeriaâ€™s growing debt profile. While I acknowledge that it is predominantly made up of domestic debt, I would advise the government to be mindful of the economic consequences in the years ahead,â€™â€™ he said.
Setting agenda and expectations for 2012, Odukoya mentioned security.
His words, â€œI believe that the increased insecurity in the country has had negative impact on the economy. In the year ahead, there must be a deliberate and sustainable plan to create a secure environment for economic activities to thrive.
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