The former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has advised Federal government to consider Nigerians before other plans as the country can’t afford to continue to spend on luxuries.
Atiku specifically warned politicians, especially President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo that they must cut cost if they are to save the Nigerian economy from collapsing.
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“My counsel to the Federal Government of Nigeria is that they put Nigerians first and cut their coat, not according to their size, but according to their cloth.
Added that budget has to be slashed realistically as every pork barrel have to go.
However, for instance, the billions budgeted for the travels and feeding of the President and Vice President have to reduce, also the N27 billion budgeted for the renovation of the National Assembly have to go. The massive budgets to run both the Presidency and the Legislature have to be downsized.
“The budget for purchasing luxury cars for the President, his vice, and other political office holders must be abandoned. Unchanged the salaries of Civil Servants alone, but reduce the salaries of political appointees. Sell 8 to 9 of the jets in the Presidential Air Fleet”, Atiku boiled.
In his message, he noted that Nigeria cannot make up for the loss of expected revenue by taking out more loans and issue out more bonds as debt will be the death of the economy and bonds will put our people in bondage.
Nevertheless, the best way out of this economic backwards is to reduce our expenditure. However, 0.6% reduction is no reduction but window dressing.
Atiku further emphasized that any budget slash less than 25% will not be in the interest of Nigeria.
“Nigeria needs a budget realignment, to redirect expenditure away from running a massive bureaucracy, into social development sectors like education, infrastructure, and above all, healthcare as the country must invest in the goose that lays the golden egg (the Nigerians).
“These are the kind of sacrifices that we need in a time of crisis as we do not need empty gestures that will lead to empty treasuries”, Atiku remunerated.
In his last short, Akitu said in times of austerity, no nation, not the least a mono-product economy, such as ours, should be living in luxury at a leadership level.