Contrary to postulations by the federal government and the National Assembly, the continuous delay in the passage of budgets is making the economy incur huge costs in monetary terms, time and other resources, leading to about 13 per cent drop in the value of the Gross Domestic Product.

And in the view of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the recurring delay has become a big threat to achieving the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan targets and to Nigeria’s goal of becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world in the nearest future.

Speaking at a forum of business editors in Lagos on Thursday, a director of the LCCI, Dr. Vincent Nwani, said the implications of the late passage of the 2018 budget included a slowdown in the economic recovery process by postponing the multiplier effects of government spending and delay in the commencement of economic activities.

Nwani, who represented the Director-General, LCCI, Muda Yusuf, also decried the rising level of the country’s indebtedness, stressing that the capital component of the 2018 budget was almost at par with the amount for debt service obligations.

“The ratio of interest payment to revenue is over 50 per cent, yet we pride ourselves as having a low debt to GDP ratio,” he stated.

According to him, another disturbing issue is that the gap between the official exchange rate at N305/$ and other rates at an average of N360/$ which has become so wide that sooner or later, those benefiting from the arbitrage therefrom will have to be exposed.

He warned against an impending rise in food inflation because farmers were no longer going to farms as a result of fear of attack, while those who managed to go, could not farm enough because of fear.