Recession: Nigeria is broke, Atiku says, warns FG about bogus 2021 Budget

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has warned the Federal Government that Nigeria is broke and cannot finance the bogus 2021 proposed budget which he claims is “no longer tenable”.

He stated that the country’s economy cannot afford the luxurious items in the N13.08 trillion budget proposal.

Atiku’s warning comes after it was reported that Nigeria has officially fallen into a second recession in 5 years following 2 successive negative quarters growth. Read more here.

Atiku in a Twitter thread on Sunday stated that COVID-19 only complicated an existing economic problem.

He said, “We cannot afford hand wringing and navel-gazing. We must act now, by taking necessary, and perhaps painful actions.

“For a start, the proposed 2021 budget presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday, October 8, 2020, is no longer tenable.

“Nigeria neither has the resources nor the need to implement such a luxury heavy budget. The nation is broke, but not broken. However, if we continue to spend lavishly, even when we do not earn commensurately, we would go from being a broke nation to being a broken nation.

“Until our economic prospects improve, Nigeria ought to exclusively focus on making budgetary proposals for essential items, which include reasonable wages and salaries, infrastructural projects, and social services (citizenry’s health, and other human development investments).”

The presidential aspirant advised that a stimulus package be made available for Nigerians whose combined total deposit in the year 2019 was lower than the annual minimum wage.

Atiku advice suggested that a luxury tax should be placed on goods and services accessible only to the extremely wealthy individuals.

“A tax on the ultra wealthy to protect the extremely poor.”

For instance, “a 15% tax on all Business and First Class tickets sold to and from Nigeria, on all luxury car imports and sales, on all private jets imports and service charges, on all jewellery imports and sales, on all designer products imported, produced or sold in Nigeria, and on all other luxury goods either manufactured, or imported into Nigeria, with the exception of goods made for export,” he said.

Mr Abubakar states that the country should stop borrowing to fund white elephant projects and also proposed a one per cent poverty alleviation tax to be legislated by the National Assembly on the profits of every international oil company and airlines operating in Nigeria.

He added that such action will help towards the Poverty Eradication Fund.

The various committees of the National Assembly are still working on the budget.