Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has leader advised the federal government to review its 2021 budget of over N13 trillion while describing it as a “luxury heavy budget”.
According to him, the nation is broke but not broken, while saying that the 2021 budget presented by the National Assembly on Tuesday, October 8 is no longer tenable.
Atiku made this know in a statement released on his official Twitter page.
“For a start, the proposed 2021 budget presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday, October 8, 2020, is no longer tenable. Nigeria neither has the resources, or the need to implement such a luxury heavy budget. The nation is broke, but not broken. However, if we continue to spend lavishly, even when we do not earn commensurately, we would go from being a broke nation, to being a broken nation.”
“As a matter of importance and urgency, every non essential line item in the proposed 2021 budget must be expunged. For the avoidance of doubt, this ought to include estacodes, non emergency travel, feeding, welfare packages, overseas training, new vehicle purchases, office upgrades, non salary allowances, etc.”
The presidential aspirant advised that a stimulus package be made available for Nigerians whose combined total deposit in the year 2019 was lower than the annual minimum wage.
Atiku advice suggested that a luxury tax should be placed on goods and services accessible only to the extremely wealthy individuals.
“A tax on the ultra wealthy to protect the extremely poor.”
For instance, “a 15% tax on all Business and First Class tickets sold to and from Nigeria, on all luxury car imports and sales, on all private jets imports and service charges, on all jewellery imports and sales, on all designer products imported, produced or sold in Nigeria, and on all other luxury goods either manufactured, or imported into Nigeria, with the exception of goods made for export,” he said.
Mr Abubakar states that the country should stop borrowing to fund white elephant projects and also proposed a one per cent poverty alleviation tax to be legislated by the National Assembly on the profits of every international oil company and airlines operating in Nigeria.
He added that such action will help towards the Poverty Eradication Fund.