Atiku Abubakar, Former Vice President of Nigeria, has criticized the latest review of 2020 budget prepared by the Federal Government, describes it as evidence of lost touch with the current realities in the global political economy.

Atiku said this in a statement in Abuja, on Thursday.

He faulted the budget by the Federal Government for solely depending on the oil sector. He expressed his disappointment in the decision of the Federal Government following its inability to expand the revenue of the country through the non-oil sector.

According to him, the Federal Government has slashed the budget by 0.6 per cent which represents a reduction of only N71 billion.

Atiku said that the billions budgeted for the travels and feeding of President and Vice President has to be reduced, adding that the N27 billion budget for the renovation of the National Assembly is not a good idea.

“Put Nigerians first and cut your coat, not according to your size, but according to your cloth, Nigeria Cannot Afford Luxuries During an Austerity”.

“Realistically slash the budget. Every pork barrel has to go. The billions budgeted for the travels and feeding of the President and Vice President has to be reduced. The N27 billion budget for the renovation of the National Assembly has to go.

 “The massive budgets to run both the Presidency and the Legislature have to be downsized. The budget for purchasing luxury cars for the President, his vice, and other political office holders must be abandoned.

“Leave the salaries of civil servants alone, but reduce the salaries of political appointees. Sell 8 or 9 of the jets in the Presidential Air Fleet. Any budget slash that is less than 25% will not be in the interest of Nigeria.

He noted that the Federal Government does not put into consideration unforeseen circumstances that could affect already laid down plans, especially due to sole dependence on the oil sector.

“For the avoidance of doubt, when this budget was presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, it was predicated on a projection that our nation would generate crude oil production of 2.18 million barrels a day, at an expected oil price of $57 per barrel.

“Today that is no longer the case. Both our production and the price of oil have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, to the extent that we have unsold vessels, and our income has tanked by more than 50%.

“Given that this is the case, how can anyone justify a reduction in expenditure of just 0.6%? We cannot be the only nation bucking the trend?

He pointed out Saudi Arabia, a nation with much stronger production capacity than Nigeria’s, says it has slashed her budget by almost 30 per cent.

“Saudi Arabia, a nation with a much stronger production capacity than ours and with a larger global market share, as well as a foreign reserve that is 12 times ours, has slashed her budget by almost 30%. Ditto for other oil economies.

“Nigeria cannot make up for the loss of expected revenue by taking out more loans and issuing out more bonds. Debt will be the death of our economy, and bonds will put our people in bondage.

“The best way out of this economic quagmire is to reduce our expenditure. And a 0.6% reduction is no reduction. It is only window dressing.

“And beyond a budget slash, Nigeria needs a budget realignment, to redirect expenditure away from running a massive bureaucracy, into social development sectors like education, infrastructure, and above all, healthcare.



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