Sell presidential jets, scrap N27bn NASS renovation budget – Atiku tells FG
Former Presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) has advised Nigerian leaders to abandon luxury and adjust to the reality that comes with living in a pandemic.
Atiku Abubakar was the presidential flag-bearer of the PDP in the 2019 general elections and Nigeria’s former vice president.
His main point of criticism of the present administration was on the inadequacy of the budgetary reduction in the 2020 Federal Government budget in response to fiscal constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Government had earlier announced a reduction of the 2020 budget by 0.6% in response to the sharp fall in revenue from crud oil and other sources. The monetary terms, this reduction represents a reduction of only ₦71 billion. Atiku had argued that the impact of the COVID-19 on revenue should have necessitated at least a 25% slashed in the budget.
In pushing his point he drew the Federal Government’s attention Saudi Arabia which has a much stronger production capacity than Nigeria, a larger global market share, as well as a foreign reserve which is current 12 times that of Nigeria, but has recently slashed her budget by almost 30%.
In suggesting items to be expunged from the budget to make more reflective of the seriousness of the Federal Government in addressing the revenue challenge he recommended that the N27 billion budget for the renovation of the national assembly should be scrapped alongside the monies budgeted for purchasing cars for the president and other political officeholders.
He also advised that the “the billions budgeted for the travels and feeding of the president and vice president has to be reduced. Sell eight or nine of the jets in the presidential air fleet,”