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2023 budget ‘ll lead to massive inflation, loss of jobs, Utomi warns



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Professor of Political Economy, Pat Utom has warned that the 2023 budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, will lead to massive inflation and loss of jobs in the country.

Utomi’s remark comes hours after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2023 appropriation bill of N21.83 trillion into law. It is the eighth and final annual budget of the incumbent administration.

The Labour Party (LP) chieftain, who disclosed this on Wednesday while speaking on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, also added that if care is not taken, the exchange rate may go above N1000/$ and the inflation rate may hit 50 percent.

“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.

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“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. That is a direct effect of this budget. You are going to see inflation probably go up to 50 percent.”

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