By Cynthia Ahaiwe
Given Nigeria’s current fiscal state, the Federal Government must speedily adopt and implement the Bold Revenue Plan in other to avoid debt and economic crisis, the Youth Party has said.
Reacting to the passing of the 2022 budget, the party, in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ayodele Adio, noted that “our current revenue realities cannot move the country forward. If we continue to borrow and do nothing about growing our revenue base as other countries are doing, a severe debt crisis awaits us.”
The party also criticized the Federal Government for having no clear strategy on revenue generation, relying mainly on borrowing such that the country spends 98% of its revenue on debt servicing. “There is no evidence of a coherent strategy by the Federal Government to improve our revenue substantially and to manage our debts. Even the Director-General of the Debt Management Office has warned that unless the country’s revenue profile is raised significantly, the country will face debt sustainability challenges.”
Expressing their disappointment with the government’s funding priorities, the Youth Party sounded an alarm that “shockingly, we are currently borrowing to fund a high recurrent expenditure, petrol and electricity subsidy, an expensive National Assembly, over-bloated civil service and the largess of politicians. Meanwhile, the government plans to spend only 5% of the budget on health and 7.9% on education, both of which are less than UNESCO’s recommendation of 15% for developing countries.”
After its criticism of the government’s handling of the economy, the party urged the Federal Government to adopt its Bold Revenue Plan to rescue the economy. Noting some of the recommendations in the plan, the party’s Publicity Secretary expressed confidence that the country will increase its revenue to GDP ratio from 8% to 14% within three years of implementing the Bold Revenue Plan.
Some of the recommendations in the plan include: the immediate implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act, implementation of the Stephen Oronsanye report to reduce the cost of governance, phased removal of petrol and electricity subsidy, and strict adherence to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which states that budget deficits must not exceed 3%.