– Calls for review to reflect current realities
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity, has described the 2023 national budget of the Federal Government as anti-people.
It has, therefore, called for a review of the budget to reflect current realities to place emphasis on revamping the economy and giving Nigerians hope.
A statement by the NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje entitled: Troubling Trends in the 2023 Budget’ which expressed concerns over the N10.78 trillion budget deficit, warned that the huge budget deficit was capable of plunging Nigeria into acute borrowing that would further create economic distortions for the fragile economy.
Owoaje, while frowning at the huge budget allocations to fund the profligacy of government officials, also reprimanded the National Assembly for indulging the Executive arm in financial recklessness.
According to him, rather than the National Assembly playing “its part as an institution that should be on the side of the people, playing oversight functions to checkmate the Executive, it has joined in the binge spending and reckless financial jamboree of the Executive branch.”
It, therefore, urged the Federal Government to cut wastage, especially those allocated to fund the extravagance of political office holders and intensify war against oil theft to get more revenue to fund the budget.
The statement read in part, “In addition to this, the Senate should shake off its self-serving posture and work for Nigerians by ensuring all revenue generating Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDA) remit what is due to government coffers. We urge President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan to walk the talk over the threat to turn the heat on revenue-generating agencies for adequate revenue to fund the implementation of the 2023 budget. As a sign of seriousness, we expect the lawmakers to revisit its report released in May 2021 which indicted over 60 MDAs for failing to remit revenue meant for the government. The various officials behind this defiance should be fished out and sanctions meted out appropriately to curb impunity, while the monies should be recovered. Government should pursue diversification of the economy with renewed vigour. If need be, the President should issue Executive Orders to encourage establishment of Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), promote export policy and job-creation.
“Nigeria’s economic turmoil cannot end without the Federal Government resolving the power supply issue in Nigeria. The absence of regular and adequate electricity has crippled productive activities and discouraged investment. This ugly drift should be redressed. It is incumbent on the Federal Government to speed up its investment and needed reforms in the power sector to improve power supply which is critical to industrialization and the opening up of the economy for more investments.
“More importantly, the Federal Government must move beyond its current impulse to fight insecurity. The devastating effect of insecurity on farming, commerce and other economic activities are overwhelming. Nigeria’s economic downturn cannot be reversed if terrorists, bandits and kidnappers continue their orgy of unrestrained violence across the country.
“The ball is in the court of President Buhari as a sense of responsibility to save the Nigerian economy from imploding thereby saving Nigeria from an impending disaster.”