Improved revenue generation crucial to 2021 budget success – Economist

An economist, Mr Tope Fassa, on Friday advised the Federal Government to take cognizance of more sources of revenue to fund the 2021 budget.

Fasua, the founder  and Chief Executive Officer of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd., a consulting firm, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  in Abuja.

He called on the government to always centre its annual budgets on the needs of the people.

“A budget is the most important document in a nation in any given year. It is the national budget that every sector and every individual plugs in to make their projections.

“People talk about the private sector but the government’s budget is usually bigger than any private sector entity’s budget. Government is the biggest spender in any country in the world.

“The 2021 budget as usual is not elaborate on the revenue aspect.  How we will get the revenue to drive the budget is crucial; not just going ahead to borrow.

“Government should get to that point when budget is prepared for the sake of the people, not just about what politicians can get,’’ he said.

The economist described the proposed new borrowing plan to fund the 2021 budget as “disturbing’’.

“New borrowings in the budget is about N5 trillion, and we are still going to use N3.1 trillion to service existing debt, which is basically payment of interest not the principal.

“This means that we are generally in deep trouble.

“However, government could talk about the fact that this is the COVID-19 season, and every government around the world is borrowing.

“But if the budget will be sustainable, most of the revenue to fund it must come from within.

“We have to consider that our plans to borrow might not go as expected; countries might not be willing to lend us, or they might demand “pounds of flesh’’, in terms of their conditions,’’ Fasua said.  

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