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“You can’t fabricate prosperity” — Bismarck Rewane on 2024 Budget



"You can't fabricate prosperity" -- Bismarck Rewane on 2024 Budget

Prominent economist Bismarck Rewane has highlighted the prevailing sentiments of Nigerians, expressing that their primary concern lies in the affordability of essential commodities like rice, bread, and garri rather than the intricate details of the national budget.

His remarks come amidst President Bola Tinubu’s budget presentation, where the proposed N27.5 trillion 2024 budget was outlined, emphasizing economic stability and social security measures.

During President Tinubu’s presentation before the National Assembly, priority areas including security, job creation, economic stability, investment optimization, human capital development, poverty reduction, and social security were underscored.

The breakdown of the budget comprised recurrent non-debit expenditure at N9.92 trillion, capital expenditure at N8.73 trillion, debt service at N8.25 trillion, revenue at N18.32 trillion, new borrowings at N7.83 trillion, and a projected deficit at N9.18 trillion.

Reacting to these developments, Bismarck Rewane emphasized the disconnect between budgetary arithmetic and the populace’s daily struggles. He asserted that the ordinary citizen’s primary concern revolves around the cost and availability of basic necessities.

“In the end, what matters to the people is not the balanced budget or debt ratios but the tangible impact on their daily lives,” Rewane stated.

“If prices of commodities like rice drop significantly, if bread and garri become more affordable, that’s what will truly affect people’s livelihoods.”

Highlighting the harsh reality faced by Nigerians, Rewane pointed out the escalating poverty rate and its detrimental effects on mental health, observing an increase in mental health issues and individuals pushed to desperate situations due to economic pressures.

“People are under immense pressure. Poverty is driving individuals to extreme circumstances,” he remarked, citing the surge in mental health cases and visible distress among the populace.

“The impact of the budget cannot merely be measured by its GDP percentage; it must extend beyond. Investors will be attracted when they see a conducive and secure environment for their investments.”

Bismarck Rewane emphasized the need for government transparency concerning economic realities, stressing that honesty is a crucial aspect currently lacking. He emphasized the futility of presenting a façade of prosperity when the populace grapples with genuine economic hardships.

“You can’t fabricate prosperity; people need genuine relief,” he concluded, emphasizing the necessity for concrete measures to address the rising cost of living and ensure a sustainable economic future for Nigerians.