29 November 2014, Lagos – Former presidential candidate, Professor Pat Utomi has attributed the current panic over the global slump in oil prices to what he described as the Federal Government’s poor budgetary management, noting that the anxiety would not have come up if the government was prudent in budget management.
He had frowned at the austerity measures initiated to insulate the economy from falling crude oil prices, adding that panic was uncalled for since the fall was not below the 2014 oil price benchmark. Crude oil price dropped to $73 a barrel Thursday, few days after Utomi’s interview.
The 2014 budget benchmark is on $75 a barrel and crude oil sold over $80 dollars at the time
Utomi, who spoke in an exclusive chat with Vanguard regretted that the government had not done enough, to prepare itself for the current eventuality.
His words: ‘’ I think it is a normal process when the country’s revenue begins to shrink and becomes more sensitive to our spending profile. As a matter of fact, there is nothing extraordinary about cost – effect measures becoming more sensitive to economic realities. What seems to be more puzzling about the whole process is really twofold.
“First, the oil prices are not below the budget benchmark of $75bpd that was set for the budget so as to result in such panic measures in response to the dropping oil prices in the global market.”