The Senate has implored the Federal to increase its funding for the 2017 budget to avoid the economy from sliding back into recession.
The Senate made this known after a review into the performance of the nation’s economy and specifically expressing their discontent that $9 billion has been lost in the name of stabilising the value of the naira.
It also expresses worry that only about ten percent of the N7.4 trillion budget has been implemented so far with barely three months to the end of the year.
It, therefore, summoned the Ministers of Finance as well as Budget and National Planning, Kemi Adeosun and Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, to explain the non-release of money to fund the budget.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Patricia Deworitshe said the Federal Government has, to date, released N336 billion from the 2017 budget to Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for funding of capital projects in the first quarter of 2017.
Two separate motions passed yesterday on the issues of recession and budget implementation raised critical questions about the genuineness of government’s intention in reviving the national economy.
Senator Yahaya Abdullahi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Kebbi State who sponsored the motion tagged “Stabilizing and sustaining the post-recession growth of the economy” said the level of harmony between the fiscal and monetary policies of government is still very low.
The motion, which was unanimously passed, lamented that “relatively stable exchange rates of N365 to the dollar (parallel) and N305 to the dollar (official) was achieved at a great cost to the nation,” adding that “the Central Bank of Nigeria has spent nearly $9 billion to support the naira.”