Budget delays may cost Africa's 2nd biggest economy - CNBC Africa

Budget delays may cost Africa's 2nd biggest economy

Western Africa

by Dara Rhodes 0

Nigeria's political actors need to be trained. PHOTO: Getty images

The budget was faulted for inappropriate, unclear and frivolous expenditure by the Citizens Wealth Platform.

The document has been a hot topic with some senators confident that it would promote economic growth and add fillip to the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.

“First of all, we have established that it is part of the budget process. The nature of politics is that you’ll have those give and takes,” Pat Utomi, Founder of the Centre or Values in Leadership told CNBC Africa.

Utomi believes that the real problem is not the difference in opinion but the nature of accountability that allows people to hold politicians accountable for performing in the interest of all rather than in the narrow play of their own political gain.

“Back in the 1970s, when I was a university graduate student in the United States, a policy scholar at UC Berkeley, Aaron Wildavsky wrote an interesting book, ‘The new politics of the budgetary process,’ so this is a necessary part of it,” he explained.

Nevertheless, while he believes that fixing a time frame for the politicians between which the budget should be passed would be helpful, he is certain that the education of the country’s political actors is more important.

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“We’ve talked about it for a long time, we have an institution like the congressional budget office in the United States that does so much, and here in Abuja, they’ve talked quite a bit about trying to create such an institution.”

According to him, the real problem with the current political culture is that it is significantly anti-intellectual.

Utomi is certain that creating clear world views, planning, vision and shared values amongst elites are what the country needs to work towards to create change.

“Let’s be frank. You rewarded your thugs who helped you steal ballot boxes with appointment to parliament or something like that and now we have this bizarre situation where people do not understand what is going on around them. But it can change and it will change. Its improving and I think it will get better,” he concluded.

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