Buhari’s govt., not low oil prices, caused recession — Pat Utomi


Nigerian economist and politician, Pat Utomi, has chided the Buhari administration for the state of the economy, saying it lacks the capacity for effective budget planning.

He spoke in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Wednesday, as guest lecturer at Emmanuel Egbogah Budget Roundtable organised by the Business School of Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

Mr. Utomi said he fall in oil prices did not cause Nigeria’s current economic recession as the Buhari administration claims.

According to him, the Buhari government failed to preempt and predict the coming economic situation.

He argues that if the government had been futuristic in budget planning and management of resources, it would have steered the country away from recession.

Mr. Utomi, who spoke on Budget Processes in Nigeria: Challenges and Implications for National Development, said the administration lacked foresight and did not plan.

“Our major problem is that we lack planning and budget discipline,” he said.

“In beginning of a budgeting process, it must be matched with where the people are going; but beyond revenue and expenditure, budget has to do with discipline and execution.

“Those blaming fall in oil price were just bad managers. That was not the cause of this recession.”

He also said the economic situation in the country was thrown up by the events of 1966 when a gang of soldiers hijacked the leadership of the country.

He said the same characters had remained in power since then in different guises.

Also speaking, the deputy chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Chris Azubuogu, said poor funding of budget, lopsided budgeting, deficit budget and high domestic debt profile were responsible for the slow pace of development.

In his remarks, Austin Nonyelu, a professor, said the conference was organised to examine the problems of the Nigerian budget process.

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