2018 Budget: LCCI commends NASS over crude oil benchmark increase

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, on Thursday commended the National Assembly, NASS, for increasing the crude oil benchmark to $51 per barrel from the $45 presented by the Executive in the 2018 budget.

The Director-General of LCCI, Muda Yusuf, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the National Assembly on May 16 passed the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N9.12 trillion from the N8.61 trillion estimates presented by the executive in November 2017.

Mr Yusuf noted that the budget would assist to consolidate the economic rebound that would impact on the welfare and security of the people.

“Given the development in the crude oil market, which has pushed oil price to about $80 per barrel, I think the decision of the National Assembly to increase the benchmark is understandable.

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“If the increase is in the areas that would make an impact, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, security and health, it is welcome.

“As at the time the budget was presented to the National Assembly, oil price was below $50 per barrel, so the adjustment is laudable,” he said.

The director general urged the Federal Government to guard against a future recurrence of the budget delay process, adding that the delay might affect timelines for the delivery of capital projects and create uncertainties in the economy.

“It is becoming a culture that we always have budget delays, which I do not think is good for our economy,” he said.

Mr Yusuf, therefore, urged the Executive to assent to the budget urgently and ensure effective implementation of its allocations toward achieving the desired impact on the citizenry.