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Published On: Wed, Jun 17th, 2020

Reduce expenditure on wasteful projects’, Atiku tells FG

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By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has, again, called on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to drastically reduce its expenditure, especially on wasteful projects.
Atiku, in a statement personally signed by him yesterday, listed some of those wasteful projects to include
maintenance of the Presidential Air Fleet and unnecessary renovations of buildings, limousine fleet for top government officials, overseas travels and treatments and the N4.6 billion Presidential villa maintenance budget among others.
The former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in last year’s election, pointed out that the nation cannot be on the verge of economic ruin, while still maintaining a Presidential Air Fleet that has more planes than the Presidential fleets of those from whom we take these loans. He categorically suggested that Nigeria must sell those planes and channel the revenue to other vital areas of need, while taking additional steps to reduce the cost of running the government.
The Federal Government, Atiku argued, cannot continue to justify “these unsustainable numbers” by pointing at Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio which is only half the picture.
The nation’s debt to revenue ratio, according to him, paints a much more realistic portrait of “our financial situation, especially as our revenues are majorly tied to a mono product, oil and gas”, which are very vulnerable to global shocks.
While warning that Nigeria is facing a crisis, Atiku declared that the country cannot continue to keep up appearances by taking out more loans to prop up our economy.
According to him, “That will amount not just to robbing Peter to pay Paul, but to robbing our children to pay for our own greed”.

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