Cut expenditure, reduce NASS’, pay by half, Onitiri tasks Buhari
To cushion the effect of the looming economic crunch occasioned by the Coronavirus, President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to cut government spending and also reduce the National Assembly members’ salaries and other emoluments by half.
A Lagos-based political activist/social critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri, who gave the advice in a statement yesterday, said the salaries and earnings of all other political appointees should also be cut by half in view of the economic situation in the country.
While noting that state governments should also follow the Federal Government’s example, he stated that a situation where greater percentage of the country’s earnings is used for debt servicing is hurting the economy and the people.
Onitiri noted that since 2019, the Buhari regime has borrowed three times big chunks of money, which had never been explained to Nigerians and for which the country is yet to see results.
He stated that more lives and property are lost daily to bandits. “Our persistent calls that the security chiefs be sacked had fallen on deaf ears. Our National Assembly is also eager to approve foreign loan applications of the President.
“What the government should do now, is to look inwards to generate more revenue by diversifying our economy, instead of mono-economy and dependence on oil revenues only. The government should harness our solid mineral resources, which are being tapped and carted away by illegal immigrants.
“The government should also develop our abundant human resources, instead of leaving our youths to migrate illegally to foreign countries,” Onitiri further suggested.
He noted that from the look of things, Nigeria is on the brink of economic collapse with her debt profile hovering over $33.6b, as against total foreign exchange reserves at $36b, describing the development as extremely worrisome.
“The non-creative practice of borrowing to finance our recurrent expenditures does not portray managers of our economy in good light, as this is setting the nation on a long term economic chaos.
“There is still widespread unemployment, poor educational system, high poverty levels amongst the population, very poor infrastructures and poor healthcare facilities.
“For the nation to arrest the gradual descent into economic bankruptcy in few years time, the first important thing to do is to stop borrowing and then take a critical stock of the country’s debt profile. The nation’s capacity to service and pay the debts should take high precedence,” he added.