By Adejumo Enock
The Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has expressed dissatisfaction towards the confirmation that Nigeria has entered into another recession for the second time in five years.
He disclosed this in a statement signed by himself on the 22nd November, 2020.
The Former VP in his statement said “it is with a very heavy heart that I received the confirmation that for the second time in five years, Nigeria has entered into another recession.
According to the statement, Atiku said the recession could have been avoided if the present administration had listen to patriotic counsel given by him and other well meaning Nigeria on cutting the cost of governance, saving for a rainy day and avoiding extravagant borrowing.
The Former Vice President who said that the country could have avoided this fate by being discipline and prudently managing the country’s economy in spite of the bad Situation faced by most countries as a result of the pandemic also added that critical leadership to guide the country back to the path of economic sustainability is the needed solution.
In addition, Atiku stated that the extravagant proposed budget is no longer justifiable as the country is already broke and to avoid being totally broken, the country should cut down the heavy budget and also stop the lavish spending.
He Further advises that every non essential line item in the proposed 2021 budget must be eliminated and until the Economy improves, the country needs to 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.
“We must invest in those most likely to be impacted by the effect of the recession, the poorest of the poor. As well as stimulating the economy, this also ensures that they do not slip further into extreme poverty”. He added.
Similarly, The Former Vice President further proposed a luxury tax on goods and services that are exclusively accessible only to the super-wealthy so as to fund a monthly cash transfer of N5000 in the account of those whose combined total deposit in the year 2019 was lower than the annual minimum wages also adding that these Bank Accounts must be verified by a Bank Verification Number.
Furthermore, he also added that the National Assembly should implement a 1% poverty alleviation tax which is to go towards the proposed Poverty Eradication Fund on every international Oil Company operating in Nigeria and all international airlines doing business in Nigeria.
“It is inhumane for us as a nation to increase the cost of goods and services that affect the poor, while keeping the cost of luxuries fairly stable. We must flip this, and flip it immediately”. He states.
He also advises the Federal Government to stop borrowing to pay salaries and other white elephant projects as all these are not essential needs. Adding that “if we keep borrowing, we stand the risk of defaulting, and that will make recession a child’s play, because we will lose some of our sovereignty.”
Finally, Atiku urges the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas without caring who the source of the message is.