The People’s Redemption Party, PRP, has called for the scrapping of the Senate, the upper legislative chamber in the country, lamenting that the country’s cost of governance is too much.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, members of the party’s National Executive Committee, led by its National Chairman, Falalu Bello, said “Nigeria is a poor Nation and cannot afford a Bicameral Assembly paying itself so handsomely without any checks on its expenditures”.
The party also rejected the 76% Recurrent Expenditure in the proposed 2020 Budget.
The party, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the Oronsanye Report on reducing cost of governance, advising that number of ministries be reduced, while some of the MDAs merged.
“We in the PRP unequivocally condemn the increase in Consumption Tax, otherwise called Value Added Tax by 50% from 5% to 7.5% at this time when the President of the Nation himself has admitted that the citizenry is facing hardship and when we as a Nation have become the acknowledged world Capital of Poverty.
“We call on the Legislature, as elective representatives of the people, to rise up to the challenge and reject this ill-advised and ill-timed 50% increase in Consumption Tax as the poor more than the rich will pay for this increase.
“Furthermore, we condemn the decrease in Capital Expenditure proposed in the Budget by as much as 22.65% from N3.184 trillion in 2019 to 2.46 trillion in 2020 because there is no way the nation will grow with Capital Estimates attracting only 24% of the Budget and Recurrent Estimates gulping as much as 76%.
“Looking into the Budget closely, one can see that the wage Bill of the Public Sector alone will gulp N3.6 trillion of the total Budget of N10.33trillion. This certainly is unacceptable and must be reversed if the Nation is to grow.
“Considerably reducing the cost of the Legislature to the economy which is one of highest, if not the highest, in the world, by reducing its budget to no more than half or abolishing the bicameral legislature and making it unicameral as done by sensible and sensitive nations in recent history.
“Nigeria is a poor Nation and cannot afford a Bicameral Assembly paying itself so handsomely without any checks on its expenditures. We would be with the President, if he initiates a serious downward review of the costs of the National Assembly to the Nation;
“Reducing expenditures at the Executive branch, beginning with the highest level of Government, that is the Presidency.
“The President should honour some of his Campaign promises which included reducing the Presidential Fleet, cutting the Budget of the Presidency as a means of giving him the moral courage and strength to reduce the unnecessary and over bloated wage bill and cost of governance in Nigeria
“When it came into office in 2015, the government inherited a debt burden of just Ten Billion Dollars ($10billion). Today our country’s debt exposure has spiraled up to about eighty four billion dollars ($84billion).
“Yet there is hardly anything on the ground to show for this staggering debt profile. This irresponsible profligacy must stop before our Country and its present and future generations become indentured slaves. Already debt servicing is costing us almost half the Budget with nothing left for development,” the party said.