Ben Akabueze, the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, says the international Monetary Fund (IMF) has been wrong in its projections of the Nigerian economy in the last four years.
The Budget Office Federation DG, spoke on the economic projections of the President Bola Tinubu government for 2024.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday, Akabueze said IMF has got its projections on Nigeria wrong in the past four years.
“Our actual growth have always beat their projections.”
On November 29, 2023, the President presented his maiden budget estimates of N27.5trn for the year 2024 to the National Assembly (NASS).
According to the President, the economy is expected to grow by 3.76%, while “inflation is expected to moderate to 21.4 percent in 2024”.
“Budget deficit is projected at 18 trillion naira in 2024 or 3.88 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” the President had added.
The President’s projection was at variance and “ambitious” to the prediction of IMF earlier in October. The Washington-based lender had projected that the country’s economy would grow at 3.1% in 2024.
However, the Budget Office boss said IMF’s projections “do not represent the holy grail on economic growth”, adding that the organisation “can’t get it right better than the people who have direct responsibility for managing their individual economies”.
Akabueze said the growth rate projected by the Tinubu government in its maiden budget “doesn’t even yet reflect the ambition of the government”, adding that the incumbent administration “wants to double the GDP before the end of the first term”.
He said the 2024 budget estimates awaiting approval at the National Assembly was “way too small” to Nigeria’s need but the government had to cut its coat according to its cloth.
The Budget Office director general insisted that despite the criticisms against the 2024 budget estimates, the appropriation bill caters for the poor in terms of healthcare, security, education and the economy.