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Expedite passage of 2019 budget to spur growth, Economist urges NASS

An Economist, Dr. Uju Ogubunka, on Wednesday urged the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the 2019 budget in order to spur economic growth.

Ogubunka, a former Executive Secretary, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said accelerating the passage of the appropriation bill by the National Assembly was expedient to enable the Federal Government adequately implement its programmes.

“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan initiative of the Federal Government will be properly implemented if the budget is passed into law in good time.

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“Particularly now that the people are yearning for economic empowerment, and considering that it is an election year,” the economist said.

Ogubunka urged the executive arm of government to engage in more consultation with the National Assembly to avoid late passage of the budget.

“A lobby team representing the interest of the executive arm of government must consult robustly with the legislators for quick passage of the budget, regardless of party divide.

“Lobbing regularly will lead to entrenchment of the process and stop the perennial late passage of the appropriation bill,” he said.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari presented the N8.83 trillion budget proposal to a joint section of the National Assembly on Dec. 19, 2018.

The 2019 budget is about N27 billion lower than the 2018 budget of N9.1 trillion.

The budget was predicated on 60 dollars per barrel, oil production of 2.3 million per barrel per day, exchange rate of N305 to the dollar, Gross Domestic growth of 3.01 per cent and inflation rate of 9.98 per cent. (NAN)