The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives have expressed divergent views over President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget of economic growth and sustainability.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President on Thursday in Abuja presented the 2022 budget before the joint sessions of the National Assembly.
The budget presentation had in attendance the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, some Ministers and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha.
Rep. Sam Onuigbo (APC-Abia) stated that it was expected that the 2022 proposed budget would be able to cushion the effect of the economy where people had been groaning under the high cost of food items.
He said that some of the projects in the proposed 2022 budget were targeted to growing the country’s economy by addressing critical areas of development like infrastructure, tax policy review and health issues.
He said that if the security situation in the country was addressed, farmers would be able to go back to their farmsand and they would be able to contribute to agricultural produce.
“Right now, a lot of farmers are not going to farm because of insecurity and once we can address that because what this budget is intended to do is to lay a solid foundation for growth and put the infrastructure in place.
“If we have security in place, you will see the economy growing, because farmers will work and people who are investing in industry will be able to invest and the economy will boom.
“This is because money is made and spent and the economy will bounce back, so I am very hopeful that the budget will achieve economic prosperity,” he said.
Rep. Muhammad Abdumumi (APC-Nasarawa) said that Buhari had defined it clearly that the budget of 2022 “is a budget of economic growth and it will be implemented 100 per cent.”
According to him, this is in order to complete some of the projects that are currently ongoing with regards to agriculture, education infrastructure, rail line, among others.
“Every nation wants an adequate infrastructure that will boost its economy and from what is read to us in the budget, I am sure we will all clap our hands,” he said
The lawmaker said that he was in support of the President in terms of revenue generation, stressing that it would ensure that the country had increased revenue from all government agencies.
“We have the potential to grow enough revenue to support the funding of Nigeria’s budget and all measure must be taken to ensure we tap from the untapped areas.
“We should ensure that we close the entire necessary loopholes to ensure that the national budget is financed from a downward point,” he stated.
Rep. Ahmed Murktar (APC-Kaduna), said that the President’s budget proposal was around health, education, security among others, adding that the continuation of capital project was a cheering.
“The one I am happy about is the continuation of the financing of capital projects they started in the last budget is a good thing
“I will term this budget as the budget of consolidation, like I have said it is going to continue the financing of capital projects started in 2021.”
He said that the 2022 budget would help to ensure that all capital projects started in 2021 were completed.
Speaking on the recent increase in cost of food items, he said that the recent rise in the prices was due to inflation.
“We know the reason, one of them is lack of production, insecurity in the country and the level of production has gone very low, if we are not producing things will keep going on until we start producing,” he said.
Reacting to the 2022 propose budget, the PDP said that details of the budget were not given to be able to do a proper analysis.
Rep. Anienka Umana (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) said that the President did not give details rather chose to summarise.
“From today’s presentation, we saw a budget proposal of N16.39 trillion even though he did not give us details but in summary tried to highlight some of the things he has done.
He said that the bench mark for crude oil was put at 57 dollars per barrel, adding that enough information was not given to allow member do a thorough analysis.
“We did not get enough information that will allow us to analyse the import of the proposal, so as it were, the President has just read the budget.
“So we need to go to work to see what the future holds for Nigeria because of what we can see at this time.”
Also speaking, Rep Mark Gbillah (PDP-Benue) said that it was another budget filled with deficit, borrowing, stressing that it did not meet the yearnings of the people.
“Unfortunately, I don’t personally believe that it meets the yearnings of Nigerians, we are yet to see details in terms of allocation per ministry, we cannot be too definitive.
“The initial figures we are seeing have exceeded the fiscal responsibility provision in terms of revenue to GDP estimate, which is what this administration is doing every year, I think there is a reason for this.
“You don’t just come and present a budget and violate an Act and then think it is okay. I don’t know why this administration continues to do that.
“You can see how much we are going to use for debt servicing and how much we are going to be borrowing. These are concerns that we have.
“The projection for oil production still remains the same; there is no improvement in that regard. There is a lot left still to be desired.”
On borrowing, he said that the opposition lawmaker would express their objection to any borrowing, adding that the leadership of the House as constituted was always supporting the executive. (NAN)