Buhari’s N10.3trn 2020 budget a joke ― Afenifere
•Says country in trouble committing a quarter of it to servicing debts
Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has described the N10.3trn national budget for the year 2020 presented by President Muhammadu Buhari before the National Assembly as a joke of a document, saying the country was in trouble if a quarter of that amount was to be committed to servicing debts and not paying them.
President Buhari had on Tuesday presented the budget proposal before the joint sitting of the National Assembly in Abuja for passage into law.
National Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said this in his reaction while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune in his Lagos office on Wednesday, declaring that the document presented by was an indication that Nigeria was in trouble and going down, down, down the drains.”
“The budget is a joke of a document. When you are presenting a budget and you admit, you are going to spend a quarter of the budget to service debts, not paying debts to service debts, there is trouble, there is a serious crisis, this country is going down, down, down the drains,” he said.
The Afenifere chieftain said the budget was such that all the monies voted for the Federal Ministry of Works headed by Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, and former governor of Lagos State could not finish Lagos- Ibadan Expressway in a year, adding that votes for all other sectors were very meagre and enough reason to conclude that nothing was going to be achieved with the N10.3trn.
“All the monies they voted for Ministry of Works under Fashola cannot finish Lagos- Ibadan Expressway in a year. So and when you look at all the other headings, there is nothing that is going to happen in this economy,” he said.
“So Nigerians should put on their sackcloth because from what has been presented now, there is nothing for the people, absolutely nothing,” Odumakin added.
Speaking further, the Afenifere spokesperson reiterated call for return of the country to true Federalism, saying that was the best and only way to go as such would enable Nigeria to expand her productive base, with the states in control of their resources, while jettisoning the present command and control system operated at the centre in Abuja.
“We have said it very clear, we have to expand the productive part of the economy. We must go back to federalism, we must remove that clause in our constitution that says all the resources belong to the federal government.
“Let the states own their resources, let them own them and develop them and pay to the centre. There is no other way out, there is no other way out.
“If they say they don’t like restructuring, federalism is the way to go. When they insist we must continue to share the money this way, this is where we are now,” he said.
“Yes, they want to keep the command and control system, they are locking us under this system. Look at what bandits are doing with the gold deposit in Zamfara, the government of Zamfara cannot control their gold but bandits are doing so,” he added.