Some residents of Port Harcourt City, the Rivers State Capital, have reacted to the 2018 Federal Government Budget, recently passed by the National Assembly (NASS).
The budget of N9.12 trillion as passed by NASS has a budget estimate increase of N508 billion from the N8.612 trillion submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari, late last year.
One respondent and manager of Forte Oil Filling Station, Eastern by-pass, Amete Effiong, while expressing relief that the budget had finally been passed, expressed disappointment at its late passage.
According to him,” if we are a country that have respect for rule of law, this budget should have been passed at the very latest, February of this year, however, we are happy that they have finally done the right thing by releasing it”.
Another respondent, a real estate management consultant, James Odoliyi, feels that the passage of the budget would open the Nigerian business environment to new vistas of investments.
He said, “Those investors who stayed action on their activities due to the non-passage of the budget would now continue with whatever they were doing and invest even more in the country.
He noted that delay in budget passage oftentimes raise uncertainties in the minds of investors and sometimes even drive them to other countries perceived to be more investor friendly.
For economic activist, Andy West, the increase in the oil benchmark was not necessary, adding that Nigeria needs to learn to save the season’s surplus.
According to him, “there was no need increasing the oil benchmark from $45 to $51 per barrel. The senate did this for selfish reasons, whatever surplus we get from oil could have be saved for future use. We made the mistake during the days of Udoji, we didn’t save and see where that landed us”.
Also speaking, the Medical Director, Promise Land Hospitals, Dr Udofia Udofia, lamented the poor attention given to the health and education sectors, saying Nigeria’s GDP would not improve remarkably until these two most important sectors are adequately catered for in Nigeria’s budget.