A Cursory Look at the National Budget and Power Outage in Nigeria

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Talk of 2012 budget was hardly over when the issue of 2013 budget surfaced. No
doubt, National Budget has always been a matter that is capable of agitating any nation.
This is money. Now, how should we allocate it and how should we spend it?

No nation has ever got it perfectly right. Both the National Assembly and the Executive
Arm of government will dramatize its own part of the ‘show’ before the budget finally
gets released. (As at the date of this brief, the 2013 budget content has not been finally
made known to members of the public.)

What we know is that the drama for 2013 budget is already playing out. President
Goodluck Jonathan has tendered it to the House, they have sent it back and the report
we have is that the figure for 2013 budget has risen a trifling bit.

President Goodluck gave N4.924tn in budget figures but the House made that figure
N4.987tn by the time the budget was sent back to him. The outcome was hailed by both
the Senate and House of Representatives. But hardly will the story end there.

Among other vital issues, it still remains true that some critical areas still get little
attention in the National Budget. Has the budget always directly catered to the needs of
the citizenry? How many of the ongoing or uncompleted projects in Nigeria will receive

attention through the budget? These are the main areas that the federal government
must pay attention to as the budget for 2013 gets released.

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Let’s hope that there will be no allegations over improper expenditure of the 2013
budget as we heard of in regard to the 2012 budget.

Coming to the issue of power, I mainly think of comfort in our homes and the ability to
be able to do business without a hitch. Think of the time and money you lose sometimes
when there is no power to sustain your electronic devices in the office and your gen
broke down.

We have gotten used to it. Power cuts are part and parcel of doing business in this
country but I wonder; how many businesses are re-evaluating their server, data and
employee power requirements?

Corporate organizations now seek customized backup solutions and power alternatives.
Unless the federal government actually sit down and determine to make things easy
here in the area of power supply, Nigeria as a vast market, with multiple opportunities,
will be unable to attract the right kind of investors from abroad and local manufacturers
will continue to wallow in distress for lack of energy needed to produce more.

Desktop computers are not safe from incessant power cuts which could cause damage
to the CPU and hinder the employees’ performance. This is why laptops are better and
seen as remedy to the heartless power cuts experienced in Nigeria. Even then, no one
expects laptops to operate a whole day without charging the batteries.

Yet, more needs to be done. Power must be constant. President Goodluck has
promised Nigerians recently that proper power supply will be enjoyed by all Nigerians
soon. He also said the power problems in Nigeria are receiving a facelift, though I’m yet
to observe that. Until all Nigerians can confidently attest to the fact that the power
supplied to them has improved, we cannot give PHCN a pass mark.

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