The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to put in place coherent economic blueprint to tackle recession in the 2017 budget.
The NLC Chief Economist, Peter Ozo-Eson, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the preparation of the 2017 budget should not be delayed like that of 2016.
“In the 2017 budget, I think government has a lot of work to do. So that we do not end up again like the 2016 budget that took such a long time with a lots of difficulties, problem here and there.For the medium term strategic paper that they had put forward already, I think it should be more critically evaluated so that it can provide a coherent base for the 2017 budget.
“Part of the problem we see however is in articulating the budget; we need to have an economic blueprint that we can to use to tackle the recession. We have not seen this; therefore, the budget is an instrument that should be used to actualise such a blueprint. I think it is important for government to put its act together to quickly put an economic blueprint to address the recession,’’ he said.
Ozo-Eson, who is also NLC General Secretary, said that for government to have a coherent blueprint, it must engage all segments of the society, both private sector, small scale producers, labour, among others.
He said that if the blue print was packaged from all sides, it would address the recession in the country.
“Once you have that in place the budget then becomes an instrument of implementing such a blueprint. I think that not putting blueprint in place and talking of budget, it will be a mismatch and the policy will not be coherent. Part of the problem we are also facing is the downgrading of planning, if we are planning the way we used to. Then it would have been easier to seal the blueprint and therefore use it to address the present situation,’’ he said.