7TH OCTOBER 2021
2022 BUDGET: *BUDGET OF HIGH SOUNDING FIGURES BUT HOLLOW AND BOGUS IN SUBSTANCE*
… ONLY HIGHLIGHTED BY MORE DEBTS AND BORROWINGS
… FILLED WITH AMBIGUOUS AND ELEPHANT PROJECTS THAT MIGHT BE USED TO FUND 2023 ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
… BUHARI HAS BEEN FUNDING THE SAME PROJECTS SINCE HE ASSUMED OFFICE
… NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ONLY INTERESTED IN SPEEDY PASSAGE WITHOUT CRITICAL ANALYSIS
The CUPP has monitored the budget presentation speech of President Muhammadu Buhari and is shocked that the President though pointing out that this would be his last full year budget yet did not take any steps to include in the budget any items that could at least leave office with some element of pride.
The only highlight of the budget is that the government has tactlessly admitted that it is overwhelmed by its failures and has no solution at hand.
The only thing the budget is clothed with is new loans and borrowings and nothing more. It does not inspire any hope in Nigerians rather it sinks the country further into economic woes.
Recurrent expenditures and capital expenses like purchase of cars, computers and accessories, and other unnecessary and white elephant projects are all the budget contains because the ruling party will use the budget to fund their 2023 election campaigns.
A N16.39 Trillion budget contains Debt service of N3.61 Trillion, non-debt recurrent costs of N6.83 Trillion while there is only capital expenditure of N5.35 Trillion. New borrowings in the budget is totaling N5.01 Trillion with an extra N1.16 Trillion drawdowns on loans secured for specific projects. This is the highlight of the uninspiring speech of the President as it cannot add any productive value to the economy.
Furthermore, a close look at the speech will show Nigerians that President Buhari has been perpetually funding the same set of projects without ever completing them. After borrowing over N33 Trillion, President Buhari is still declaring to Nigerians that he is borrowing to fund Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway, East-West Road, 2nd Niger Bridge etc. Nigerians should please ask President Buhari; when will these projects which have been in the budgets since 2016 ever be completed?
Finally, President was severally thanking the lawmakers for speedy approvals, but Nigerians will notice that there was never any appreciation for critical analysis by the National Assembly. They quickly approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, they quickly approved the 2021 supplementary budget, they quickly approved loans and all borrowings and also will quickly approve this budget. All these were without critical analysis on the impact of their approvals on the people they represent.
Nigerians are hereby called upon to bear yet again another year of suffering but have hope that when the opposition takes over, Nigeria will get back on its feet.
Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere
Opposition Coalition Spokesperson
7th October, 2021
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