According to renowned economist Bismarck Rewane, Nigerians will not be interested in budgetary data as long as the prices of staples like garri, bread, and rice do not decrease.
Rewane made this claim during an interview on Thursday’s Business Morning program on Channels Television.
“Budgetable mathematics in economics, or budgetary arithmetics, is ultimately useless unless, by the end of six months, we are purchasing rice at N40,000 per bag instead of N60,000, and bread at N900 per large loaf instead of N1,300, as we are doing today,” he stated. if we are paying less for garri.
“Whether the budget is balanced or how much debt there is doesn’t matter to the public. What impact does the budget have on their daily lives? That is the crucial element.
During his first budget presentation to the National Assembly on Wednesday, President Bola Tinubu stated that the planned N27.5 trillion 2024 budget will guarantee microeconomic stability, reduce poverty, and increase access to social security.
Priority issues that the president emphasized included poverty alleviation, human capital development, macroeconomic stability, macroeconomic security, local employment creation, and social security.
He set the following fixed amounts: income at N18.32 trillion, fresh borrowings at N7.83 trillion, capital expenditures at N8.73 trillion, debt service at N8.25 trillion, and recurrent non-debit expenditures at N9.92 trillion.
However, after reviewing the budget plan, Rewane, the Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, concluded that people are more concerned with feeling the effects of the government’s economic policies since they are under a lot of strain than they are with numbers.
“And as you know, prices are up and people are under tremendous pressure,” he continued, saying that the nation’s high percentage of poverty is making people insane.
You’ll see that there are more crazy people on the streets of Lagos in particular, and part of the reason for this is poverty. Numerous mental health problems exist. People are forced up against walls. Even when there is traffic, some of them cross the street on foot.
“People must experience the effects. The impact must be greater than 10 or 12% of GDP, or N27 trillion, in order to be felt. How will the funds be obtained?
“It will come from investors, who will come here when they are confident that their money is secure, the environment is uncontaminated, and they have a brighter future ahead of them.”
Rewane declared that “honesty is in short supply” and that the government of Nigeria must be forthright with the people about the state of the economy.
The economist says that people can’t just start being cheerful.
“You can fake news, but you can’t fake prosperity,” he declared.