Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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Saraki: 2019 budget, an hopeless document

Saraki on hopeless 2019 budget

Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, Thursday, enjoined Nigerians not to expect so much from the 2019 Appropriation Bill, as presented to the National Assembly, describing the budget proposal as “hopeless”.

Dr. Saraki, speaking in his capacity as Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, PCO, opined that Nigerians were safer in 2015, than they currently are.

The Senate President made this statement at an interactive session between the PDP Presidential Candidate,  Atiku Abubakar and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Abuja on Thursday.

Dr. Saraki in his opening remark, suggested that the budget proposal put forward by President Buhari, had no future, because the referenced statistics do not indicate the financial model by which it will be funded.

His words, “Yesterday (Wednesday), we all heard the 2019 budget. That is a budget that has no hope for anybody because if you look at the statistics and the figures there’s poverty, if you look at the figures based on revenues that are coming in, there is nothing left. So where’s the future?

“There must be an alternative and that is what we hope that by this evening speaking to our candidate and vice presidential candidate, not based on sentiments. We are not voting on sentiments, we are voting on what is the need for you.

“How is your life going to be better? Which party offers you a better future because we see you as those who are patriotic and committed . It’s not about what you’ll get today. It’s about the great country a lot of you expect to see.

The Senate President also euphemistically added that President Buhari will fail to attend the January 19, 2019 Presidential debate, stressing that any President that want to lead a country and the African continent should be able to sell his blueprint to the people he seeks to serve.

“How is your life going to be better? Which party offers you a better future because we see you as those who are patriotic and committed . It’s not about what you’ll get today. It’s about the great country a lot of you expect to see.

“Those days are gone, my good people. A country that leads the continent that is not ready to show example is not what we want for this continent. The whole world is going in a direction, if you’re seeking a position, you must come and tell people what you want to do. You must sit down and they will ask you questions and that is why we’re here.

“Today is your day, we will sit down and take questions. I hope at the end of the exercise you will stand up and say yes this is the team that will secure Nigeria, this is the team that will unite Nigeria , this is the team that will fight the poverty in town and bring a bright future.”

Presidential Candidates

Atiku’s running mate and vice Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi, speaking at the event, expressed regret that 60 percent of the 2019 budget is being earmarked to debt servicing by the current APC government, an action he notes, surpasses what was accrued by the 16 years of the PDP government.

He said,“When you look at the revenue, we will spend 60 percent to service debt. So what is left? And they will borrow more.

“What they borrowed in 2016 and 2017 is the same PDP borrowed in 16 years. When you ask them, they say they use it for capital project.”

Mr Obi lamented the level of poverty in the country and criticized the President’s remark to Nigerians to tighten their belts. “Nigerian people have no belt again to tighten up”, stressing “we now wake up everyday with a sense of helplessness”, Mr Obi added.

He also noted that the current ruling party did not heed warnings on job losses and decried the current unemployment rates which has risen from 18.8 percent to 23 percent, saying it will only get worse because “nobody is doing anything“.

He promises their administrations focus on job creation and pledges daily employment statistics when they get elected into government.

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