Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the 2019 budget presented to the national assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari is “fundamentally flawed”.
Atiku said the N8.83 trillion budget fails to address current realities, noting that it is built on a “very shaky foundation”.
In an article written about the budget, the presidential candidate alleged that “several inaccurate claims litter the budget document”.
He wrote: “The proposed budget as presented is fundamentally flawed. It deliberately ignores and fails to address current realities and pretends, as Mr. President asserts, ‘we are on the right direction’.
“On the contrary, the 2019 budget is built on very shaky foundation and makes very generous, often wild and untenable assumptions which pose significant risks to its implementation. It will be a disservice to the country if we ignore these fundamental flaws.
“Several inaccurate claims litter the budget document – all, I think, in an attempt for Mr. President to whitewash the regime and hide their monumental failure to improve, even minimally, the welfare and living standards of much of the population. I see the rhetoric of ‘inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth’ as no more than an amplification of the APC-led government’s renewed propaganda to hoodwink the citizens into believing that there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
“Few of these claims by Mr. President are that ‘we have recorded several successes in economic management’, that ‘the economy has recovered from recession’, that ‘foreign capital inflows including direct and portfolio investments (have) responded to improved economic management and that ‘we have had a sustained accretion to foreign exchange reserves’ etc.”
The former vice-president said the 2019 proposed budget “will not pull Nigeria from the abyss” but may rather “accentuate the misery and hopelessness the Nigerian people have lived with since 2015”.
Atiku said there must be an alternative to the budget, adding that Nigeria “needs a government which understands how to run the economy”.
He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, an Atiku Presidency, come 2019, will present to Nigerians a people’s budget that will prioritize and focus on the twin challenges of unemployment and poverty.”