From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has said the National Assembly is only interested in quick the passage of the 2022 budget and not in the critical analysis of the Appropriation Bill presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday.
The CUPP spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, in a statement, said the National Assembly is always quick to approve every proposal from the Executive arm of government.
Ugochinyere stated that Nigerians should not expect so much from the 2022 budget, as the appropriation bill does not inspire hope.
According to him, “The only thing the budget is clothed with is new loans and borrowings and nothing more. It does not inspire any hope in Nigerians rather it sinks the country further into economic woes.
“Recurrent expenditures and capital expenses like purchase of cars, computers and accessories, and other unnecessary and white elephant projects are all the budget contains because the ruling party will use the budget to fund their 2023 election campaigns.
“A N16.39 Trillion budget contains Debt service of N3.61 Trillion, non-debt recurrent costs of N6.83 Trillion while there is only capital expenditure of N5.35 Trillion. New borrowings in the budget is totaling N5.01 Trillion with an extra N1.16 Trillion drawdowns on loans secured for specific projects. This is the highlight of the uninspiring speech of the President as it cannot add any productive value to the economy.
“A close look at the speech will show Nigerians that President Buhari has been perpetually funding the same set of projects without ever completing them. After borrowing over N33 Trillion, President Buhari is still declaring to Nigerians that he is borrowing to fund Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway, East-West Road, 2nd Niger Bridge etc. Nigerians should please ask President Buhari; when will these projects which have been in the budgets since 2016 ever be completed?”
However, he said the lawmakers, who are expected to be thorough in the consideration of the budget eager to give an expedited passage to the document.
“The President was severally thanking the lawmakers for speedy approvals, but Nigerians will notice that there was never any appreciation for critical analysis by the National Assembly.
” They( NASS) quickly approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, they quickly approved the 2021 supplementary budget, they quickly approved loans and all borrowings and also will quickly approve this budget. All these were without critical analysis on the impact of their approvals on the people they represent,” Ugochinyere stated.