By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lamented that the N10.7 trillion 2020 budget proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly will further impoverish Nigerians and mortgage the future of the nation.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party urged the federal legislature to redirect the fiscal proposal to serve the interest of majority of Nigerians.
The PDP noted that the core of the budget proposal was hazy, showing streaks of padding, fraudulent duplications, replete with false performance indices, deceptive projections and inexplicable expenditure assertions.
These, the party said, have created openings for continued looting of national patrimony by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and persons close to the Presidency.
The PDP insisted that it is inexcusable that despite the huge natural resources at President Buharis reach, he articulated a N10.7 trillion budget that is completely lacking in concrete wealth creation strategy, but relied on further squeezing of Nigerians through excruciating taxes, levies and agonizing tolls.
It said it’s unacceptable that the budget is skewed to serve the interest of the opulent, as projects that have direct bearing on the wellbeing of the masses were not substantially accommodated in the overall expenditure profile.
The PDP said such cannot happen under the Atiku Abubakar economic recovery blueprint for which Nigerians voted massively the PDP in the 2019 presidential election.
The party also criticised the Buhari administration for not being transparent in the mammoth allocations for alleged vague projects, particularly the Ministries of Works and Housing as well as Transportation, where it said allegations of diversion of public funds were endemic in the last budget.
The statement said: “Standing with millions of Nigerian youths and women, our party rejects the paltry budgets of N48 billion for education and N46 billion for health and urges the National Assembly to review the allocations in the interest of Nigerians.
“Furthermore, the PDP notes, as unacceptable that President Buhari, in his budget speech, could not give account of his handling of the 2019 budget and had to resort to lame excuses and unsupported figures, particularly on the various unimplemented subheads in critical sectors of the economy
“Moreover, Mr. President failed to explain why his administration has remained hugely corrupt and how his Presidency depleted our foreign reserves to an all- time low $41,852 billion, accumulated huge foreign and domestic debts and kept the naira at its knees at about N360 to $1USD under his watch”.
The party also challenged the Presidency to make public the details of its allocation for Nigerians to see the billions being spent to finance the “opulent lifestyle” of the Buhari Presidency, despite Mr. President’s claims of prudence and sacrifice.
Author: Oamen Eromosele