2024 Budget: Tinubu’s Govt Not Paying Attention to Rational Economic Management, Says Peter Obi

2024 Budget: Tinubu’s Govt Not Paying Attention to Rational Economic Management, Says Peter Obi

  • Peter Obi has revealed that Nigeria risks plunging into further economic crisis due to irregularities in borrowing funds.
  • The former Anambra state governor questioned the procedure for approving the 2024 appropriation bill.
  • Obi slammed the national assembly for not exercising its duty of duly diligence and proper scrutiny of the budget.

Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

FCT, Abuja - The presidential bannerman of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential poll, Peter Obi, has questioned the modalities of the national assembly's approval of the 2024 appropriation bill signed by President Bola Tinubu on Monday, January 1.

Obi, in a long statement issued on his official X handle on Tuesday, January 9, said the present administration is not paying sufficient attention to issues of rational economic management.

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Peter Obi has slammed the Senate for approving the 2024 budget.
Obi questioned the complacency of the Senate and President Tinubu in management of debt. Photo Credit: Mr Peter Obi/Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Source: Facebook

The former Anambra state governor stated that many of these so-called ‘capital’ expenditure items contained in the 2024 budget are more procurement and luxury projects.

He said there is a need to need to kill the trend of lavish spending backed only by equally lavish borrowing, which is unsustainable and would wreck the economy in due course.

Obi said:

"It needs to be halted. Unless this trend is halted, the nation runs the greater risk of running into more turbulent economic waters in the near future.
"This is to add my concerned voice to those of many other troubled Nigerians.
This is the time when we need to go beyond politics and partisan grandstanding to address the fundamental issues of rational economic management."

Obi slams NASS for lacking due diligence

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Obi also queried the national assembly for not properly scrutinising the government's borrowing culture to run the country's affairs, which further increased the debt burn of Nigeria.

As contained in the statement, Obi highlighted his concerns from the immediate past administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari whom he claimed violated the CBN Act with his numerous borrowing that climbed up to 2700% while he faulted the national assembly for not conducting due diligence.

He said:

"Barely 26 days to the end of its eight-year tenure, the Buhari administration got the Senate to approve a N22.7 trillion Ways and Means borrowing from the CBN.
"In seven years, CBN lending to the Buhari government had climbed 2700% in flagrant violation of the CBN Act."

Obi continued:

"Indifferent to the illegality of the excessive ways and means borrowing, the National Assembly still approved the new Tinubu administration’s request for an N7.3 trn securitization of the existing ways and means facility just before considering the 2024 budget proposals.

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"On the 30th of December 2023, the last working day of the year 2023, shockingly the President requested the National Assembly to approve the securitization of N7.3 trillion being the outstanding debt owed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the Federal Government of Nigeria."

Tinubu's violation of CBN Act

Obi pointed out that concurrently with the unauthorised securitisation approval by the parliament, the president successfully obtained National Assembly consent to borrow an additional $7.8 billion and €100 million.

He highlighted the lack of inquiries or clarifications regarding the exact intentions behind these loans, all occurring within the seven-month period of the current government.

He emphasised the need for increased transparency, urging the president and his administration to provide more detailed explanations for the purposes of these borrowings in the interest of public accountability.

"But so far, all we have been told is that these borrowings are meant to fund ‘capital’ expenditure, Obi added.

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Obi highlighted that securing funds from the CBN through Ways and Means contravenes legal provisions and the CBN Act.

The CBN Act specifies a cap on the Federal Government's borrowing from the CBN, limiting it to 5% of the preceding year's revenue.

He said:

"..the CBN Act expressly states that all borrowings under the Ways and Means cannot be converted to debt or securitized if the CBN is the underwriter.
"It needs to be pointed out that the idea of securitization of illegal borrowings from the CBN and transferring the same into our debt stock portends danger to the future of our economy."

Peter Obi speaks on Labour Party taking over from PDP

In another report, Obi of the Labour Party has said his party is adjusting to its new role as the main opposition party in Nigeria.

The PDP is considered the main opposition in Nigeria, a role it has been playing since it lost to APC in 2015.

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In his new year message, Obi prayed for Nigeria and Nigerians and asked God to grant their good heart desires.

Source: Legit.ng

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