Some capital market experts on Thursday appealed to the Federal Government and the National Assembly to resolve the 2016 budget impasse in the national interest.
They said in interviews in Lagos that the National Assembly members should work for what will uplift the country, irrespective of their political affiliations.
Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, Managing Director, Maxifund Investment & Securities Plc, Lagos said the delay had taken its toll on the various sectors of the economy.
“I don’t like the altercation between the presidency and the National Assembly, the feelings of Nigerians should be protected at all times,” he said.
Unegbu also said that the nation had failed to achieve any meaningful development in the past, in spite of the available natural and human resources because of persistent non-implementation of the yearly budgets.
He stated that the capital market would continue to experience challenges due to the development, while the unemployment rate would remain high.
Unegbu, who is also a former president, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said it was disheartening that the budget was still a subject of discussion, at this time of the year.
According to him, the impasse will affect the implementation of the budget in the long run and urged all to work for the national interest.
Alhaji Rasheed Yussuf, immediate-past president, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), said the impasse and the non-passage of the budget would increase the level of uncertainty in the capital market.
Yussuf said the impasse should be resolved to prevent possible contraction of the economy and the resultant negative effects on Nigerians.
Mr Harrison Owoh, Managing Director, H.J. Trust & Investment Ltd, Lagos, said the impasse could paralyse activities because the government was the highest spender in the economy.
Owoh added that the development would bring untold hardship to the masses and further increase the rate of employment with the closure of more companies.
He said the impasse would also increase the nation’s domestic debt as government agencies will find it difficult to settle contractors.
Mr Bayo Adeleke, National Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said activities had slowed down considerably as government earnings and spending capacity had waned.
He said the executive and legislative arms must iron out their differences for certain capital expenditure items to be implemented.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved a monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the successful implementation of the 2016 budget, when it is finally signed into law.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, stated this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the minister, a time table has been approved by the council to ensure that the 2017 budget is prepared on time.