The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has pointed out that there is no mention in the 2019 budget of the need to dredge the various ports outside Lagos to decongest the Tin Can Island and Wharf ports.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria made this observation in its perspective on the 2019 budget, which was made available to our correspondent on Monday.
Citing President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget speech, MAN noted that the N194.24bn capital allocation to the development of transportation infrastructure was a 26.2 per cent reduction from the N263.10bn allocation in 2018.
The association observed also that the N80.22bn allocation for counterpart funding of railway projects, and the N27.12bn allocation for rehabilitation of rail tracks and general maintenance/running of the rail system, were critical.
The association further maintained that no country in the world had ever become fully industrialised without a robust railway system.
“However, no mention is made of the need to dredge the various ports outside Lagos State to decongest Tin Can Island and Wharf ports and reduce the cost of moving goods from ports to the factories,” it noted.
Equally, the association observed that there was a 32.5 per cent reduction in the allocation to agriculture and rural development in the budget.
It stated, “The allocation to agriculture and rural development is N80.29bn, which is 32.5 per cent lower than N118.98bn allocation of 2018.”
It, however, described as ‘commendable,’ the N15.66bn allocation for promotion and development of agriculture value chains across more than 30 different commodities and N2.69bn for extension services, including other projects.
On the outlook for 2019, the association predicted that judging from Nigeria’s budget trends, the proposal might undergo late passage, adding that “the resultant negative effect on the overall economic ambience of the country might be colossal for an economy whose current growth rate was still fragile.”