Atiku Campaign Organisation Faults FG Fiscal Policy, Opposes Sharing of Abacha’s Loot
The campaign organisation for ex-vice president, Atiku Abubakar has faulted the Federal government fiscal policy.
The organisation which describe the intention to sell national asset as ‘irresponsible’ claimed that the assets proposed for sale are built by PDP administration. The organisation also attack the FG for distributing Abacha’s loot recovered.
The statement read, “The attention of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation has been drawn to a policy statement by the Muhammadu Buhari administration evincing a plan to sell national assets to fund the 2019 budget.
Our first response would be that this action by the Buhari government has the effect of ridiculing their principal.
“Recall that on Monday the 29th of October, 2018, President Buhari accused past leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party of not building public infrastructure, while delivering the 75th Anniversary Business lecture of the Island Club, Lagos.
“However, some of the assets listed for sale in the policy document of the Buhari Administration were assets built or established under the PDP administrations that governed Nigeria between 1999 and 2007.”
He added, “Some of them were the brainchild of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
“Our question is this: If the PDP did not build infrastructure, as alleged by President Muhammadu Buhari, who built these assets that this administration wants to sell to fund their 2019 budget?”
The former Vice President added that as the head of the Economic Management Committee during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, he supervised the successful policy of privatisation.
He added that privatisation worked because it was seen as a long-term strategy to engender efficiency in the economic system and expand the frontiers of private sector activity.
He said its (privatisation) primary goal was not to raise money for short-term stabilisation of what is clearly a fragile fiscal system.
The government’s planned sale of assets, he said, would cause long-term pains and only provide short-term gains.
He, therefore, warned that it made no sense to sell public assets simply to fund a ‘business-as-usual’ budget that is essentially 70 per cent recurrent.
“It is irresponsible to part with valuable assets simply to consume the proceeds, like selling your family house to take a trip overseas on holiday.
“We knew that such a day would come, which is why Atiku Abubakar has on various occasions made it clear that what is needed at this time is fundamentally fiscal restructuring to eliminate our addiction to oil revenues and strengthen our internal revenue-generating capacity and a restructuring of the budget in favour of capital spending.
“For instance, last month, the PDP Presidential candidate questioned the wisdom behind the Federal Government sharing $322m Abacha loot to certain Nigerians, only to obtain a $328m loan from China, allegedly for ICT development. Rather than share that money, the Buhari administration ought to have put that $322m in an escrow account to be used for funding the 2019 budget.”