Economist Urges FG to Fast-Track Budget Implementation to Curb Inflation

An Economist, Aminu Usman, has advised the Federal Government to begin the implementation of the 2016 budget to curb inflation in the country.

Usman, a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.

``We have one of the largest budgets in terms of nominal value so it is expected to be an expansionary budget to boost activities in the economy.

``So, one of the things that will robust this is for the government to start implementing the budget in earnest.

``The government must work as if they are in a hurry, when they start implementing the budget in earnest, then activities will pick up, and then prices will come down.

``We are lucky, we are approaching the rainy season; few months now into the rainy season and implementation of the budget, we will actually see prices coming down gradually.

Usman expressed relief over Friday’s signing of the 2016 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also said that the fail in the oil price also contributed to inflation.

``Once you see the revenue from oil drops, it will have negative impact on prices of items in the country because the ability of the CBN to protect the Naira becomes weak,'' he said.

The don said government should, as a matter of urgency, ``put in place an Economic Management Team that is not partisan but highly professional and a breed without greed''.

``Under what policy are we guiding the economy? There is no defined economy policy for this government.

``Everybody will end up doing its own thing- CBN is here, Ministry of Finance is there, National Planning is there and Trade and Investment is there.

``There has to be coordination and that is because we don’t have a standard Economic Management Team that will coordinate activities, and give a guide to economic policy in this country.”

In addition, Usman said the team, when put in place, should ensure the restoration of export promotion incentives that were withdrawn, due to corruption and other vices.

``The team should cause certain tariffs and bans to be imposed on certain category of items in order to protect the local industries,'' Usman said.