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“Nigeria’s 2024 Budget a joke” — PDP



"Nigeria's 2024 Budget a joke" -- PDP

The proposed N27.5 trillion budget for the 2024 fiscal year, presented by President Bola Tinubu to the National Assembly as the ‘Budget of Renewed Hope,’ has faced sharp criticism from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

In a statement released by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP labeled the 2024 budget as deceitful, lacking in mechanisms for economic recovery, and potentially disastrous for the nation’s economy if passed into law.

Expressing strong opposition to the appropriation bill, the PDP urged the National Assembly to reject it, citing concerns that its implementation could drive the country into economic depression.

According to the statement, the PDP denounced President Tinubu’s characterization of the budget as a ‘Budget of Renewed Hope,’ dismissing it as conjured, unfounded, and deceptive.

The party highlighted the absence of concrete strategies within the budget to revive the economy, generate employment, address the stagnant manufacturing and productive sectors, and combat deficiencies in human capital development and declining life expectancy among Nigerians.

Criticism was directed at the budget’s alleged inflated figures, duplicated items, and misleading statistics, including claims of a global increase in inflation rates used as justification for anticipated hikes in taxes and interest rates, which the PDP believes will negatively impact the productive sector.

The party also criticized the budget’s allocations for the luxury demands of the Presidency and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, suggesting that funding for these provisions would heavily rely on foreign loans and increased taxes, further burdening the already impoverished citizens.

Concerns were raised about the budget’s framework, particularly regarding the allocations of N9.9 trillion for Recurrent Expenditure, N8.7 trillion for Capital Expenditure, and N8.25 trillion for debt services, which the PDP deemed unsustainable and unrealistic considering the country’s existing debt and proposed borrowings.

The PDP highlighted the absence of actionable plans to revitalize critical sectors such as manufacturing, energy, agriculture, and education, suggesting a lack of innovative ideas and a disconnect from the realities faced by Nigerians within the Tinubu-led APC government.

President Tinubu’s adoption of a Naira to US Dollar exchange rate of N750 for 2024 was heavily criticized by the PDP, viewing it as an admission of failure and a move that would weaken the national currency, reduce purchasing power, and hinder capital access for small businesses and startups.

The party concluded by urging the National Assembly to exercise its constitutional duty under Sections 80, 81, and 82 of the 1999 Constitution to reject the proposed budget, dismantle its components, and introduce provisions crucial for economic growth and the welfare of Nigerians.