2022 Budget: Opposition Alleges Buhari Emphasises on Borrowings, Says NASS Interested in Speedy Passage without Critical Analysis
By Rose Audu
Nigerian opposition parties under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has faulted the content of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2022 N16.39trn budget presented on the floor of the senate on Thursday in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.
Recall that TOS NEWS on Thursday reported that President Muhammadu Buhari presented a total budget of N16.39 trillion for the year 2022 to the National Assembly, and the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, assured the president of the National Assembly’s commitment to pass the budget before the end of year.
In a statement by the spokesperson of CUPP Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere and obtained by TOS NEWS, the group noted that after it carefully monitored the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari “it is shocking that the President though pointing out that this would be his last full year budget yet did not take any steps to include in the budget any items that could make his last year in office a memorable one.”
The CUPP’s spokesman questioned the President’s continuous appreciation of the lawmakers for speedy approvals, noting that Nigerians are not daft but noticed that there was never any appreciation for critical analysis by the National Assembly.
According to Ugochinyere “Just as they quickly approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, they quickly approved the 2021 supplementary budget, they quickly approved loans and all borrowings, and they will again quickly approve this budget.
Ugochinyere said, “The only pronounced item in the budget is that “the government tactlessly admitted that it is overwhelmed by its failures and has no solution at hand.”
According to him, the only thing the budget is clothed with is new loans and borrowings and nothing more. It does not inspire any hope in Nigerians rather it sinks the country further into economic woes.
He said, “Recurrent expenditures and capital expenses like purchase of cars, computers and accessories, and other unnecessary and white elephant projects are all the budget contains because the ruling party will use the budget to fund their 2023 election campaigns.”
Ugochinyere further stated that the N16.39 trillion budget contains debt service of N3.61 trillion, non-debt recurrent costs of N6.83 trillion while there is only capital expenditure of N5.35 trillion. New borrowings in the budget is totaling N5.01 trillion with an extra N1.16 trillion drawdowns on loans secured for specific projects.
“A close look at the speech will prove to Nigerians that President Buhari has been perpetually funding the same set of projects without ever completing them. After borrowing over N33 trillion, President Buhari is still declaring to Nigerians that he is borrowing to fund Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway, East-West Road, 2nd Niger Bridge etc. Nigerians should please ask President Buhari when will these projects which have been in the budgets since 2016 ever be completed?” he added.
The opposition parties called on Nigerians to speak up or be ready to bear yet another year of suffering however expressed hope that when the opposition takes over, Nigeria will get back on its feet.