13 budget not pro-poor, says LBS don
March 4, 2013 | 4:16 pm| | | Start Conversation
Olawale Ajayi, a professor of legal, social and political environment of business at the Lagos Business School (LBS), has described the 2013 N4.987 trillion budget just endorsed by President Goodluck Jonathan as simply anti-poor.
His argument is that those critical elements of the budget, particularly education, agriculture/water, and even infrastructure that are supposed to touch the lives of the citizens directly have received less allocations than expected.
Ajayi gave a lecture on the theme, ‘2013 Budget: Implications for Businesses and the Socio-political Environment’ at the LBS alumni session in Abuja.
In a critical look at the budget, Ajayi for instance wondered why just N426.5 billion should be earmarked for education, representing just 8.7 percent of total budgetary spending, far below the 26 percent recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) standards.
Health got some N279.23 billion, representing 6.4 percent of the total spending for the year as against 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and 15 percent of budget by 2001 Abuja Declaration.
The professor noted that agriculture/water which has been established as having the capacity of directly touching the lives of 70 percent citizens below the poverty line gets less. Asia spent over 20 percent in Green revolution years. N81.41 billion has been allocated to agriculture even though it is a steady increase from N70 billion and N78.92 billion allocations in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Again, he said infrastructure upgrade required to lift social lifestyle and national competitiveness, in terms of power, transport and works account for N1 trillion relative to subsidy spend of almost N1 trillion which the masses hardly benefit from.
ONYINYE NWACHUKWU, Abuja
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