2023 Budget Will Cause Inflation, Unemployment – Pat Utomi
Utomi warned that if caution is not exercised, the currency rate might exceed $1 to N1000, and inflation could reach 50%.
Utomi said this on Wednesday while speaking on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme.
Utomi’s remark comes hours after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2023 appropriation bill of N21.83 trillion into law.
The economist who referred to it as a debt servicing budget claimed that the expected figures of N9 trillion in revenue and N21 trillion in expenditures defied common sense.
“What is the goal of the Buhari administration? It says it wants to create 10 million jobs in 10 years or something. This budget — will it create one job? No. It will lead to loss of jobs, it will lead to massive inflation, it will lead to a collapse in the exchange rate,” Utomi said.
“Let me explain why, it’s very simple. This is a budget for debt service. You are going to have revenues of what — nine trillion? You are projecting expenditure of what — 21 trillion. You are already in an unsustainable debt situation.
“Tell anybody who understands economics what this means. This is going to mean serious inflation.
“If you were in a situation where people are rushing to invest in Nigeria, you would say revenues that flow in would accelerate production and when you ask people who manage the economy, they say to you — you see the problem is not that our debt situation is not unsustainable, the problem is that of collecting revenue.
“God forbid, if we don’t do something dramatic, the effect of this budget is that the exchange rate will go past N1000, which is a direct effect of this budget. You are going to see inflation probably go up to 50 per cent.”