The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the slash of the 2020 budgetary allocations for basic health care and education sectors is an indication that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government does not have the welfare of Nigerians.
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The PDP said this in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, on Tuesday, in reaction to the cuts, as well as the approval of N27 billion for the National Assembly renovation.
According to the major opposition party, giving utmost consideration to the renovation of the National Assembly over the health and education sectors is “scandalous”.
The party said it rejected the budget cuts and asked President Buhari to immediately recall the budget to rework the figures to reflect a 100 per cent increase in the initial figures.
This, the party said, is as a step forward towards meeting the needs of the citizens at these sub-sectors.
The statement read: “The PDP insists that in slashing the budget for the primary health need of the people to N25.5 billion (a 42% cut) and UBE budget to N51.1 billion (a 54% cut), in a country of over 200 million people, who are already economically overburdened, the APC and its administration have further exposed that they have never had the welfare of Nigerians at heart.
“The party said no government, which genuinely means well for its citizens, will vote a paltry N25.5 billion for basic health care for 200 million people in 774 local governments, particularly at this time our nation is facing huge health challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, while allocating a bigger sum of N27.7 billion for renovation of the National Assembly complex, which is not even in a distressed state.
“While the PDP has nothing against any effort to improve on the working condition of our federal legislature, placing the renovation of the National Assembly complex above health care at this critical time is a scandalous misplacement of national priority by President Buhari and APC Presiding officers.
“Moreover, our party has been made aware that this development does not reflect the views of majority of the federal lawmakers.”
The PDP wondered if the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government targets to achieve more out-of-school children as well as more health need deficit in our country.
The party called on President Buhari and the National Assembly to immediately rescind the decision and restore the original budgets for the affected sectors.
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“Our party, therefore, rejects this collusion by the APC-led Federal Executive and their presiding officers in the National Assembly to downgrade the health need of our people as well as the education necessity of our children.
“The PDP, therefore, charges President Buhari to prioritize the welfare and development of Nigerians by cutting the size of his government, clipping its luxuries, curbing the unbridled corruption by APC leaders so as to make more resources available for the health and education need of our citizens,” the statement read.