Tension In Abuja, As Buhari’s Men Fight PDP, Over The Controversial 2020 Budget

By Post-Nigeria: October 9, 2019 18:04

Tension In Abuja, As Buhari’s Men Fight PDP, Over The Controversial 2020 Budget

The Buhari Media Organisation, BMO, has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Allies’ analysis of the 2020 Budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly, on Tuesday, shows a lack of understanding of basic budgeting processes.
According to the BMO, this could also be part of the reasons the PDP failed to make a real impact, in spite of the billions of dollars that accrued to the country from oil receipts alone, between 1999 and 2015.
The BMO, said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, which was sent to Post-Nigeria, that the PDP’s reaction to the budget estimates, is a reflection of its penchant for jumping the gun, without having a full grasp of publicly available information.

“Like many Nigerians, we were really not surprised to see the opposition party’s hasty reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s presentation of the 2020 budget proposal tagged: ‘Budget of Sustaining Growth and Job Creation’.
“But what came as a surprise, is that the party again got its assessment wrong, not only on the general principles of the budget, but also on the figures it mischievously claimed were allocated to certain sectors.
“How could a party that was at the helm of affairs at the centre, for sixteen years, during which the country realised $963 billion from oil alone, and left no real footprint on the infrastructural landscape, claim that the administration that has done more, with just a little over $100 billion, in four years, is impoverishing Nigerians?

“In its desperation to paint the Buhari administration as insensitive, the PDP claimed that ‘paltry budgets’ of N48 billion, was allocated to Education, and N46 billion for Health, but that was a faulty reading of the budget estimates, that shows the ignorance of the party’s Leaders.
“If they had paid attention to the President’s speech, or taken the pains to read the text, the arm-chair critics at PDP would have realised that the figures they quoted were for capital projects, and were aside from the N12 billion allocated to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). So also is the Statutory Transfer, or first-line charge allocation of N44.5 billion to the Basic Health Care Provision Fund? So PDP got it wrong again!”, the BMO said.

On PDP’s claim that the budget would further impoverish the populace, the group insisted that it is further from the truth.
“Facts that can easily be gleaned from the appropriation bill, shows clearly that the country will continue to look like a giant construction site, with massive allocations to infrastructure development.
“We make bold to say that if PDP had done half of what the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration has done in four years, Nigeria would not be budgeting and spending a large chunk of its resources on power, road and rail projects  in 2020. And of course, with the President’s directive that all on-going projects be concluded, there would be more money in circulation, and a lot more direct and indirect jobs would be created all over the country, where project sites are located. And contrary to the opposition party’s assertion, these projects, when completed, would have a direct and positive bearing on the masses.
“And lest we forget, the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), which remains a thorn in the flesh of PDP and its Allies, has not only been institutionalised, it has been strengthened too. The Initiative that is arguably the largest welfare scheme in sub-Saharan Africa, and is now a global reference point, has a proposed allocation of N30 billion, yet a party that does not see any good in the pro-poor scheme, claims that the budget is ‘skewed to serve the interest of the opulent’.”
The BMO, also dismissed the opposition’s stance on allocation to the Presidency as one based, on the assumption of what its members were used to in the PDP years.
“Is there any Nigerian that has not seen a change in the ostentation that signposted that party’s misrule, when all sorts of parties were thrown at the Presidential Villa?
“We do not have to remind PDP that this President is known for a spartan lifestyle outside of government that has not changed in the last four years. His penchant for managing resources is legendary, and we advise the party to again desist from jumping the gun.
“In their haste to put together what they believe is a hard-hitting statement, PDP Leaders, in their mischief, forgot that there is always a platform for further breakdown of the budget proposal, where finer details will be unveiled.
“We are convinced that even after sixteen years in power, before Nigerians put a stop to their dream of staying in power for sixty years, PDP Leaders still need to be educated on budgeting processes, in addition to learning the ropes in the act of a responsible opposition party”, it added.