Stakeholders and industry experts have been reacting to the 2020 budget since its presentation by President Muhammadu Buharibefore the joint session of the National Assembly. The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has also come out to weigh in on the budget.
According to the Director-General of NECA, Timothy Olawale, the overall policy thrust of the 2020 budget is to ensure economic growth and job creation. However, he said the budget was unclear regarding the inclusion of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage in the Appropriation Bill.
Olawale disclosed his fears which include the possibility of mass retrenchment of workers by the Federal and State governments as well as further threat of strikes by the labour movement.
Speaking further, Olawale said that although there was an improvement in the budget presentation period over the previous years, the document should have been presented earlier to enable the National Assembly perform its duties thoroughly.
More on the budget: NECA noted that the benchmark for oil considered in the budget was $57 per barrel which was a reduction from the $60 per barrel reflected in the 2019 approved budget.
He, however, said that the benchmark price was just slightly above the current average price of $58 witnessed in the course of eight months in 2019.
Olawale stated that any further impact on the global economy could result in the crash of global oil price as there was reduced demand due to slow down in global economy as attested to by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank forecast.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2020 appropriation bill before the joint session of the National Assembly. According to the President, the capital expenditure in the 2020 national budget is N2.14 trillion. However, the 2020 budget was set at N10.33 trillion.