Bismarck Rewane, economist and managing director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, says Nigerians are not interested in the arithmetics of President Bola Tinubu’s 2024 budget but in its impact on standards and cost of living.
“That’s just a nomenclature. It doesn’t matter. The most important thing is not hope. Hope is not a strategy,” Mr Rewane said when asked if the 2024 budget instils hope concerning the appropriation bill’s christening as ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’.
Mr Rewane said this in an interview with Channels TV on Thursday, in the wake of the 2024 Budget President Bola Tinubu presented to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
“The truth is that people need to feel the impact. The impact is not going to be felt because of 10 or 12 per cent of the GDP, that is N27 trillion. It has to be more,” Mr Rewane explained. “Where is the more coming from? From investors; investors will come when they are sure their money is safe.”
Lamenting increased poverty in the country, Mr Rewane said Nigerians were not concerned with budget arithmetics but the impact on their lives.
Mr Rewane explained, “In the end, budgetary arithmetics, budgetary mathematics in economics is of no use to anybody except when by this time, six months’ time, if we are buying rice at N40,000 a bag rather than N60,000 a bag; if we are buying bread N900 a big loaf instead of N1,300 which we are doing today; if we are buying garri at lower prices.”
He added, “The people are not interested in whether the budget is balanced and what the debt is. How does it (the budget) affect their day-to-day livelihood? That is the key thing.”
On Wednesday, Mr Tinubu presented the 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion to the National Assembly for approval.
Presenting the budget, Mr Tinubu said the budget’s main focus was on national defence, internal security, local job creation and macro-economic stability, adding that the budget comprised N9.92 trillion non-debt recurrent expenditure and N8.7 trillion capital expenditure, while N8.25 trillion was for debt service.
Mr Tinubu had recently received knocks for approving the purchase of a presidential yacht in a supplementary budget.