The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has called on government to forgo the jumbo budget for legislators.
Atiku made the call in an opinion piece titled " How to Pull Nigeria From The Brink" and published on Medium.
According to him, Nigeria needs to focus her energy on how to diversify the economy and not how to increase expenditure.
He said, "We must cut our coat, not according to our size, but according to our cloth. Our Presidential Air Fleet of almost 10 planes should go. Our jumbo budgets for our legislature must go. The planned $100 million renovation of our Parliament must be cancelled. We cannot be funding non necessities with debt and not expect our economy to collapse. Our civil servants must come to the realization that Nigeria cannot sustain its size and profligacy. The same cost saving measures must be adopted by the states and councils government.
"From henceforth, our energies, resources and focus, must be on how we can diversify our economy, not on how we can increase our expenditure.
The former vice-president also queried the continuous closure of the border despite the AFCTA agreement.
"I was in Benin Republic recently and I was informed by one of the most successful industrialists in the country that Benin buys its cement from China. Why should a country that shares land borders with Nigeria have to import cement from China 7000 miles away, when Dangote cement is perfectly able, and I am sure willing, to provide the same product at a competitive price?
"Is this not what the AFCTA agreement is meant to promote? Why would Nigeria maintain an insane policy of border closures at a time it desperately needs them open to promote trade?
"Now is the time for Nigeria to make those hard decisions it has postponed for far too long otherwise the alternative is an apocalyptic scenario we would rather not entertain."