N17trn Deficit: ‘2024 Budget Can’t Be Implemented Because Our Leaders Have No Intellectual Content’ — Ex-Gov. Suswam

A former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, says the 2024 budget presented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu cannot be implemented.

This, he said is because it contains a deficit of N17 trillion.

According to him, any leader with “intellectual content” would have figured that the budget is not implementable.

Recall that Tinubu presented N27.5 trillion as a proposed budget for the 2024 fiscal year to members of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

While addressing 25 fellows of the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship in Abuja on Wednesday, Suswam explained that the budget is made so because people without required leadership skills are in power.

Information Nigeria understands that the Fellowship is an initiative of The Bridge which involves a comprehensive year-long, non-partisan program designed to identify and prepare future political leaders, fostering their readiness for leadership roles within the country.

Suswam who lamented that the quality of representation in Nigeria is becoming poorer, instead of higher posited that the country’s “leadership needs some intellectual content. If you don’t have it, there is nothing that you can do about it.”

“I was looking at the budget, out of the whole money in that budget, the deficit is N17 trillion. Because you have N9 trillion of deficit, N8 trillion of debt service, then you have N2.7 trillion of tax expenditure, that is a waiver.

READ ALSO: ‘Designed To Fund Tinubu, APC’s Luxury Appetite’ — PDP Faults Proposed N27.5trn “Budget Of Renewed Hope” As Hopeless

“So the entire money, the N27 trillion budget is not implementable. Do you know why we have that? Because we have people in leadership with no intellectual content,” the former Governor stated.

Former Governor of Cross River State, Lyel Imoke, who is the founder of The Bridge’s Leaders Fellowship called for a deliberate effort to mentor Nigerian youths to correct the imbalance in the polity.

On why he established the fellowship, Imoke said, “I saw a genuine desire in the young people to participate in governance. But at the same time, they are not equipped to fully participate. So that was why we started The Bridge Leadership Foundation.”

He assured that the foundation will continue to facilitate mentorship training for young Nigerians to venture into politics and make a difference in our democracy.

“There is a need for the political class to come together and ask good questions. Where are we getting to? Are we getting it right? If we are not, what do we need to do?

“Many are called a few are chosen, so consider yourself lucky. You have to work hard to get elected in Nigeria,” he said.