Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said Nigeria is in financial crisis, adding that the federal government ought to reduce its 2020 budget by at least 25%, to reflect the economic realities of the times.
Atiku in a statement on Tuesday by his Media Office, said Nigeria cannot be on the verge of economic ruin, while still maintaining a Presidential Air Fleet that has more planes than the Presidential fleets of those it takes loans from.
“Not only have we squandered our opportunities, we have also squandered the opportunities of our future generations by bequeathing them debt that they neither incurred or enjoyed.
“As a matter of utmost urgency and importance, I call on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to drastically reduce its expenditure, especially on wasteful projects, such as maintenance of the Presidential Air Fleet, and unnecessary renovations of buildings that could serve as is, limousine fleet for top government officials, overseas travels and treatments, and the ₦4.6 billion Presidential villa maintenance budget, etc.
“In fact, Nigeria must sell those planes and channel the revenue to other vital areas of need, while taking additional steps to reduce the cost of running our government.
“The federal government cannot continue to justify these unsustainable numbers by pointing at Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio.
That is only half the picture. “Our debt to revenue ratio paints a much more realistic portrait of our financial situation, especially as our revenues are majorly tied to a mono product, oil and gas, which are very vulnerable to global shocks,” he said.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election said Nigeria was facing a crisis, and cannot continue to keep up appearances by taking out more loans to prop up nation’s economy. He said “that will amount not just to robbing Peter to pay Paul, but to robbing our children to pay for our own greed!”
Source: News update