• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

The season of the unusual

2024 budget: Between politics and governance (Part 1)

A budget is a very serious governance instrument. It is an estimate of costs, revenues, and resources over a specified period, reflecting a reading of future financial conditions and goals.

It is supposed to be meticulously researched with wide consultation with stakeholders.

It is one of the most important administrative tools in governance, a budget serves also as a

(1) Plan of action for achieving quantified objectives

(2) Standard for measuring performance

(3) Device for coping with foreseeable adverse situations

(4) Budgets are also used for methodical control of an organisation or government operations through establishment of standards and targets regarding income and expenditure, and a continuous monitoring and adjustment of performance against them. Budgeting is a process of expressing quantified resource requirements (amount of capital, amount of material, number of people) into time-phased goals and milestones.

This column advised recently that the 2023 elections would not mark the end of our existence rather it should be seen as a step in the process of Nigeria’s development. The advice is apparently one of no relevance in this clime as government seems to lose focus on basic things.

We have witnessed some spectacular gaffes in government in recent times , my favourite is when dead persons were given board appointments by the government.

I recalled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying the inclusion of some dead persons as members of various boards by the Federal Government is a confirmation of the incompetence of our government.

The PDP, which described the development as an unpardonable national embarrassment, said it validates its position that the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled Federal Government is confused, disorganized and grossly incompetent.

Read also: Minister tasks South-West governors to increase budgetary allocation to education

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary,at that time Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said Nigerians can now see the level of recklessness and shoddiness inherent in the management of the nation under the present administration.

The statement read: “Nigerians can now see why the nation’s economy has been in shambles in the last two years. When we say that this government is completely inept, some Nigerians did not know to which level, but now they do.

“This inability to tidy up a simple issue of the list of 209 appointees has completely exposed the extent the APC government is bereft of simple organizational skills to manage a country like Nigeria, which is in dire need of development.

“How on earth can a government that cannot compile a common list handle intricate issues of national planning and budgeting; issues of health, education, aviation, agriculture, infrastructure and management of the huge civil service?

“How can they possibly initiate and successfully implement national and international instruments for national development in today’s competitive world?
“This also explains why nothing has been working under the APC government. Furthermore, the mix up in the list also exposes the corruption in the APC government.

“The fact is that the government of our dear country has been in wrong hands in the last few years and the situation will continue to worsen unless the nation is rescued from them during the next election “Finally, we urge Nigerians to disregard the lame excuses by the APC government and hold them responsible for the woes that have befallen our country under their inept and undesirable regime.”

We thought this was the lowest we can go until we learnt contract written in Chinese were signed by official of the federal ministry of transportation. How can we commit a whole country to debt terms and conditions that we do not understand. Aren’t we setting up the motherland for recolonisation 2.0. ? Is the dance of 100 years with the British not enough?

The “Chinagate” is now eclipsed by the government signing into law an incomplete 2023 budget document with apparent and known mistakes. According to press reports the handling by the finance , humanitarian and the national assembly was not tidy enough. We have heard excuses concerning wrong codes, funding sources and improper headings.

The conclusion by any outsiders is that the government is incompetent. But one thing is clear: Nigeria needs a new president with the technical know-how to make the right choices, as well as the will and skill to implement accordingly and return our country to the path of growth. These gaffes must stop.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Michael Umogun is a chartered marketer and public policy analyst