The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes the N27.5 trillion budget for 2024 fiscal year as proposed by President Bola Tinubu to the National Assembly on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 as a huge disservice, arguing that if allowed to pass, “will further asphyxiate Nigerians and plunge our nation into more economic depression and hopelessness.”
In a statement issued by its Signed: National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP also described the claim by President Tinubu that the budget is a Budget of Renewed Hope as “conjured, unfounded and deceptive” emphasizing that the budget “is completely devoid of concrete mechanisms to revive the economy, create jobs, address the comatose manufacturing and productive sectors, human capital development deficiencies and depleting life expectancy of Nigeria citizens.”
The statement read in detail, “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.
“It has further confirmed that the numerous promises by the President and officials of his government asserting a monetary policy to strengthen the Naira have been a deceptive ploy which is consistent with the APC in the past eight and half years.”
According to the party, by adopting a defeatist N750 per US Dollar exchange rate, President Tinubu has further plunged our economy into the abyss, weakened our productive sector, wrecked the purchasing power of Nigerians and the capacity of the youths to be creative, recognizing that it will be almost impossible for Small and Medium Enterprises as well as Startups to access capital under such a suffocating budget.
“Every responsible leadership strives to work and defend its national currency. Unfortunately, the Tinubu-led government has surrendered our nation currency and pride to the whims and caprices of the so-called ‘market forces’”, the PDP added.
It argued that with a transparent, honest and innovative management of resources and economic potentials of the nation; without inordinate pursuit of luxury consumption by a few individuals in leadership position, as being witnessed under the APC, the economy would witness a rapid turn-around and the Naira strengthened to its value of below N200 per US Dollar bequeathed by the PDP to the APC @OfficialAPCNg in 2015.
“This 2024 budget as presented by President Tinubu therefore represents hopelessness for Nigerians. It is pathetic that the President whose main duty is to provide for the security and welfare of Nigerians as provided for in Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) could present a budget that is not geared towards the attainment of that Constitutional duty imposed on him,” the PDP emphasized.
The PDP urged the National Assembly to pursuant to its constitutional duty under Section 80, 81 and 82 of the 1999 Constitution to reject the 2024 budget as presented and use its legislative powers to disassemble the budget and make provisions that are critical and pivotal to the growth of the economy and the welfare of Nigerians.