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Atiku Abubakar Calls On Government To Reduce It's Level Of Expenditure And Greed

Atiku Advises the Government to reduce the level of spending
The former Vice President and 2019 Peoples Democratic Party Presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar has called on the Government to
minimize the cost of expenditure in order to accommodate other needful projects instead of wasting them on non-useful projects.

Atiku Abubakar lost in 2019 to the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who won him with a slight margin. Though many argued that the election was manipulated by the electoral body in favor of the President.

According to the Nigerian Politician, the Government cannot afford to put the Country in total debt which has not benefited it anything and as a matter of fact, yielded any positive result.

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Full Speech of the former Vice President about the Nigerian debt crisis and it's implications

Nigeria In Financial Crisis: Robbing Our Children To Pay For Our Greed.

Nothing has shocked me in my entire life in public service as the revelation from Nigeria’s First Quarter 2020 financial reports in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, which shows, alarmingly, that whereas Nigeria spent a total sum of ₦943.12 billion in debt servicing, the Federal Government’s retained revenue for the same period was only ₦950.56 billion. This means that Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio is now 99%.

No one should be deceived. This is a crisis! Debt servicing does not equate to debt repayment. The reality is that Nigeria is paying only the minimum payment to cover our interest charges. The principal remains untouched and is possibly growing.

We are at a precipice. If our revenue figures do not go up, and go up quickly, Nigeria risks a situation where our revenue can't sustain our debt servicing obligations. Meaning that we may become insolvent, and our creditors may foreclose on us.

In my opinion editorial of December 17, 2019, titled 'Endless Borrowing Will Lead Nigeria to Endless Sorrowing', I had cause to counsel the Federal Government to desist from indiscriminate lending, and offered suggestions on ways to both increase revenue and reduce expenditure.

However, my counsel fell on deaf ears. And now we have come to this.

Again, on May 15, 2020, I counseled that the FG ought to reduce Nigeria’s budget by at least 25%, to reflect the economic realities of the times that we live in. Again, my entreaties were brushed aside.

As part of an administration that paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt, I am concerned by the alarming and avoidable unprecedented increase in our debt to GDP ratio and debt to revenue ratio. The alarm I sounded last year is now sounding louder.

Not only have we squandered our opportunities, but we have also squandered the opportunities of our future generations by bequeathing them a debt that they neither incurred nor enjoyed.

As a matter of utmost urgency and importance, I call on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to drastically reduce its expenditure, especially on wasteful projects, such as maintenance of the Presidential Air Fleet, and unnecessary renovations of buildings that could serve as is, limousine fleet for top government officials, overseas travels and treatments, and the ₦4.6billion Presidential villa maintenance budget, etc.

We cannot be on the verge of economic ruin, while still maintaining a Presidential Air Fleet that has more planes than the Presidential fleets of those from whom we take these loans.

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Nigeria must sell those planes and channel the revenue to other vital areas of need while taking additional steps to reduce the cost of running our government. The Federal Government cannot continue to justify these unsustainable numbers by pointing at Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio.

That is only half the picture. Our debt to revenue ratio paints a much more realistic portrait of our financial situation, especially as our revenues are majorly tied to a mono-product, oil, and gas, which are very vulnerable to global shocks.

Again, I warn that Nigeria is facing a crisis, and we cannot continue to keep up appearances by taking out more loans to prop up our economy. That will amount not just to robbing Peter to pay Paul, but to robbing our children to pay for our greed! -AA.

In another development, the Peoples Democratic Party and other well-meaning Nigerians have continued to call on President Buhari to settle the crisis rocking the Aso Villa and almost tearing it apart. The loggerhead which arose between the President's security aides and those of the first lady, who was allegedly involved in a shoot out.

Describing the situation as unfortunate, the party reminded the President of the implication the crisis could cause, both political and otherwise. While noting that the President has failed in his duty, for maintaining silent in the face of such a crisis.

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