Why Nigerians are no more interested in the national budget
Most times when budgetary issues are being discussed or analysed, there is this dispassionate expression in the countenances of most Nigerians that ask the question: “How does it affect me?”… And with all sincerity, they have very good reasons for such skepticism.
At the end of every year, Nigerian government always announce its budget for the coming year. This budget is always given ear-worthy title, loaded with prospects and promises for the coming year. They always run in trillions of Naira apportioned to different ministries and agencies. But an average Nigerian is always skeptical and pessimistic about it as this budget, at the end of each year, has not impacted meaningfully in his or her life.
At the end of every year, Nigerians still use the same bad roads that the budget made provision for to be tarred; they still power their homes and businesses with generator when the budget had promised to construct power plants; and their children are given the poorest of basic education at government institutions when the budget had stipulated to restructure the education sector. To them, the annual budget announcement is akin to annual government lies.
An average Nigerian has however been made to believe that whenever the government comes on air to announce its budget, it has only come to announce how much will be shared among top politicians and party members. And to justify this assumption, an average Nigerian can easily point to the various corruption cases on going. Thus, an average Nigerian is right for being overtly pessimistic each year Nigerian government come on air to announce its budget.
Last year, President Buhari’s adminstration seemed to be aware of this ubiquitous pessimism among most Nigerians. While delivering his speech to the joint session of the legislatures, he acknowledged that many Nigerians would be saying to themselves “I have heard this before” Yes! We all have heard it before, of budgets laden with fruitless promises and expectations, of budgets that appeared on the surface as a commonwealth plan for all but ended up betraying our hopes and aspirations and ended up in the pockets of few powerful ones.
The year 2017 budget made provisions for programmes that looked like it would positively affect the masses. The budget mad provision for the following:
With all the billions budgeted for the various ministries for infrastructural development, most Nigerians are yet so see any meaning development, this further widens the gap between most Nigerians and interest in the budget.
The 2018 budget has been submitted to the National Assembly awaiting budget. As usual, it is laden with promises and prospects like the previous ones, but most Nigerians still see as as they have been seeing previous budgets.