Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar says selling of public assets to fund the 2019 budget is fiscal irresponsibility.
Alhaji Atiku was reacting to the fears expressed by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, that the federal government will not be able to fund 2019 budget without selling some public assets.
A statement issued by the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation yesterday said apart from ridiculing the APC-led federal government it will further impoverished Nigerians.
The party lamented that 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.
“Some of them were the brain child of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar”, the statement said and asked: “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?”.
“As head of the Economic Management Committee during the Obasanjo administration, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, supervised the successful policy of privatisation. Privatisation works because it is a long-term strategy to engender efficiency in the economic system and expand the frontiers of private sector activity.
Its primary goal is NOT to raise money for short term stabilization of what is clearly a fragile fiscal system. The government’s planned sale of assets will cause long term pains and only provide short term gains.
“It makes no sense to sell public assets simply to fund a ‘business-as-usual’ budget that is essentially 70% 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).
It recalled that Atiku had questioned the rationale behind the federal government’s plan to share the $322 million Abacha loot to certain Nigerians, only to obtain a $328 million loan from China, allegedly for ICT development.
“Rather than share that money, the Buhari administration ought to have put that $322 million in an escrow account to be used for funding the 2019 budget.
“Also, we recall that $43 million was found in an Ikoyi apartment.
“While we note the failed promise of the Buhari administration to come clean on who was behind those monies, we make bold to say that those funds should equally have been placed in escrow for use in funding the 2019 budget”, Atiku said.