Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has described the 2020 Appropriations presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, to the National Assembly, as a big scam.
He urged Nigerians to prepare for tough times ahead of the financial year, insisting that after a careful study of the content of the fiscal document, it showed that not only will Nigerians be heavily taxed, but fuel subsidy will also be completely removed while social investment programme will cease to exist.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, the political activist said that from all indications, the 2020 budget as presented has nothing in stock for the common man.
Frank argued that since the APC-led administration came in 2015, national budgets have been increased annually without concomitant positive effects on the lives of the ordinary Nigerians.
He challenged the National Assembly under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila to tell Nigerians the implementation level of 2019 budget.
He lamented that the current National Assembly would rubber-stamp the 2020 budget as presented by President Buhari without asking necessary questions expected of a functioning and independent arm of government.
“After a careful study, I have concluded that this 2020 budget is more or less a scam. It is not meant to rescue Nigerians from the current economic hardship that has sent more than 94 million persons below the poverty line.
“It is a document without fuel subsidy, social investment scheme but a very high level of taxes. So, I urge Nigerians to prepare for the worst.
“Unfortunately, the country will miss the 8th National Assembly under Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara, who resisted many anti-people policies which would have scaled through against the express wish of Nigerians. Under the current NASS, it will, most definitely, be a ‘yes sir’ kind of National Assembly,” the statement read.
While challenging President Buhari on the effect his previous budgets have had on Nigerians, Frank asked the presidency to tell the world why the country does not have a new refinery since the partial removal of fuel subsidy by the administration and what has happened with the recovered loot since 2015?
“Since the partial removal of fuel subsidy, the APC’s government has not stopped borrowing money both locally and internationally to fund yearly budgets just as Nigerians are yet to see the new refinery promised by government.”
According to him, “The more increase in the annual budget, the more poverty in the land. The proposed 7.5 per cent VAT to fund education, health and infrastructure is another bogus tactics by the APC’s government to further compound the hardship of suffering citizens.”
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to be strong and endure the times, saying “even those who were used for the re-election of the APC administration in 2019 are already regretting their actions and participation secretly.”