The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the proposed N27.5 trillion budget presented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Recall that Tinubu noted that the Appropriation Bill would cement macroeconomic stability, reduce deficit, increase capital spending and allocation to reflect the priority areas of his administration.
The highlighted priority areas include security, local job creation, macro-economic stability, investment environment optimization, human capital development, poverty reduction and social security.
Information Nigeria understands that the N27.5 trillion “Budget of Renewed Hope” is 26% higher than the 2023 budget presented by ex-President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022.
Reacting to the proposed budget, PDP’s spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, said if the appropriation bill is passed by the National Assembly, it will “further asphyxiate Nigerians and plunge our nation into more economic depression and hopelessness.”
According to the Party’s statement, the budget is “completely devoid of concrete mechanisms to revive the economy”, adding that it is filled with “padded figures and duplicated items.”
“The 2024 budget is filled with heavily padded figures, duplicated items and several false statistics including claims of global increase in inflation rate as excuse for an impending excruciating increase in taxes and interest rate to the detriment of our productive sector.
“It is clear that the 2024 budget as proposed with its heavy provisions for luxury appetite of the Presidency and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders which is predicated and expected to be funded from multilateral and bilateral foreign loans and increased taxes on Nigerians, is designed to further mortgage our nation and strangulate the already impoverished Nigerians.
“The budget framework with respect to recurrent expenditure vote of N9.9 trillion, capital expenditure vote of N8.7 trillion and N8.25 trillion for debt services is unsustainable and unrealizable in view of the stated outstanding debt and proposed borrowing which is targeted mainly to finance consumption, luxury appetite and debt servicing.
“The lack of concrete and verifiable action plans to revive the manufacturing, energy, agricultural and education sectors which are the main drivers of any economy is a pointer that the Tinubu-led APC government is bereft of ideas and completely disconnected from the reality of life being faced by Nigerians.
“It is of grave concern that the President in the budget speech stated that his government has “adopted a Naira to US Dollar exchange rate of N750 per US Dollar for 2024.”
“This is a clear admission of failure, incapacity and lack of direction by the APC administration to manage and grow the economy in such a way as to strengthen the national currency, productivity and competitiveness in the global market,” the statement read.