MPC Urges FG to Quickly Implement 2017 Budget
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Federal Government has been advised to ensure the prompt implementation of the 2017 appropriation bill recently passed by the National Assembly.
This suggestion was given by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which held its quarterly meeting this week.
In a communiqué released after the meeting, the committee noted that the Nigerian economy has shown greater resilience in the intervening period since its last meeting.
It said to sustain the economic growth being experienced lately; the Federal Government must “expeditiously commence the implementation of the recently approved 2017 budget.”
The MPC emphasised that the implementation of the 2017 appropriation bill, especially, the capital expenditure portion, will help “sustain the momentum of recovery, engender employment and restore confidence in the Nigerian economy.”
The committee attributed the gradual recovery of the country’s economy to attention given to macroeconomic policies as well as improvements in oil prices.
It said, “While the general economic outlook seems cautiously optimistic for the remainder of fiscal 2017, emerging indicators suggest that economic policy must remain circumspect.
The committee noted data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the economy contracted marginally by 0.52 percent in Q1 2017, a much more positive development since Q1 2016.
It added that the data also shows that about 18 economic activities recorded positive growth in Q1 2017; indicating that the economy was firmly on the path of recovery.
The key growth activities were led by quarrying (52.54%), metal ores (40.79%), road transportation (12.35%), water supply and sewage (12.63%), fishing (5.49%), crop production (3.5%), oil refining 93.01%), motion pictures (2.95%), telecommunication (2.89%), forestry (2.59%), amongst others. The Committee noted the positive effects of improved foreign exchange management on the performance of the manufacturing sector and other economic activities. The non-oil sector grew by 0.72 percent in Q1 2017, largely reflecting the growth recorded in agriculture and solid minerals, and recovery in manufacturing, construction and services sectors.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is supposed to sign the 2017 budget, is presently away in London on a medical trip, but before he left Nigeria, he transmitted power to his Vice, Mr Yemi Osinbajo.
But his letter to the National Assembly explained that Mr Osinbajo would coordinate affairs of the nation, which raised eyebrows.
Later, there were issues on who will sign the 2017 budget, which was passed by the National Assembly after Mr Buhari travelled to London.