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PDP calls for rejection of 2024 budget, as Edun hails proposal

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the National Assembly to reject the N27.5 trillion budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu for the 2024 fiscal year.

This is even as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, described the proposed N27.5 trillion 2024 budget a right step in the right direction.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said this in a statement on Wednesday.

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday presented a budget of N27.5 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year to a joint session of the National Assembly.

Tinubu, while providing the breakdown of the budget said the 2024 appropriation was designed to address economic growth, human capital development, poverty reduction, and other crucial issues.

The president also explained that based on the parameters and fiscal assumptions, the recurrent expenditure will gulp N9.92 trillion, capital expenditure will get N8.7 trillion, the deficit is projected at N9.18 trillion and debt servicing will gulp N8.25 trillion

But the PDP in its reaction insisted that the budget has no mechanism to improve the economy and asked the lawmakers to reject it.

“The PDP calls on the National Assembly pursuant to its Constitutional duty under Sections 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,” Mr Ologunagba said.

The PDP spokesperson said the proposed budget contained “false statistics” and was “heavily padded with duplicate items”.

He said many of the issues which the 2024 budget proposed to address will not be achieved if it is still based on a false statistical structure.

“The 2024 budget is filled with heavily padded figures, duplicated items and several false statistics including claims of a global increase in inflation rate as an 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.”

Mr Ologunagba said the “false statistics” in the proposed budget indicated that Mr Tinubu does not possess the capacity and qualities to develop the economic activities of the country.

“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”.

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“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.”

He also described the monetary policy of the federal government as a “deception”.

However, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, says the presentation of the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget by President Bola Tinubu, is a right step in the right direction.

Edun, who spoke with newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, said, “As the president named it a budget of renewed hope, it is a budget that is taking us to the right direction in terms of making sure the economy is stable and making sure there is emphasis and reliance on the private sector.

“The President talked about improving security. The supplementary budget was largely aimed at funding the security architecture so that as he mentioned in his budget speech, there will be emphasis on private-public partnership.

“The N27.5 budget will be financed with about N8 trillion of borrowing. This is a vast improvement on the previous situation.

“So deficit financing as the percentage of the overall economy is halved from over six per cent to just about three per cent and that’s a move from a right direction, that is stability.

“That is really a priority for Mr President,” he said.

Edun also lauded the president on the exchange rate of N750 to dollar, saying it was realistic.

“We don’t have total control. But that’s a best estimate. If you look at where the exchange rate is now, it looks reasonable.

“The thing about assumptions is that they should be realistic and the things about estimates is that they should be reasonable.

“In this N27.5 trillion budget, the assumptions are realistic and the estimates are reasonable,” he said.

 

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