• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Peter Obi to FG, National Assembly: Review entire 2024 budget

2027 presidency: Why Peter Obi must temper his expectations

Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the last general elections, has called for a comprehensive review of the 2024 budget in light of recent controversies and budget padding allegations against the National Assembly. 

Obi said this in a statement on his X account on Monday morning, urging the Federal Government and National Assembly to consider many challenges facing Nigeria at this time. 

“Having followed the controversies trailing the 2024 budget, and having read some of the budgetary provisions and allocations of resources, I wish to respectfully appeal for a total review of the entire budget,” he said. 

Obi highlighted the need for the executive and legislative branches to reassess the budget, particularly to address resource allocation to sectors such as security, poverty alleviation, and power supply.

He said, “The Executive and Legislative arms should  initiate an immediate review of the budget as it is still in early days of implementation in order to enable them do urgent virement of resources to critical areas.”

The former governor of Anambra cited a series of kidnappings, totaling approximately 7,000 over the past year, with 700 occurring in the last three weeks alone. 

He referenced a Financial Times report from March 12, 2024, which characterised the kidnapping issue as indicative of a failing state. These incidents, according to Obi, hinder Nigeria’s ability to attract and retain investors.

“In the past 1 year, about 7000 Nigerians have been kidnapped, with about 700 kidnapped in the last 3 weeks, not withstanding the violent crimes and killings that occur in every part of the nation, which must have included us in one of the world’s riskiest countries to live in.

“A report by the globally respected publication, Financial Times, on March 12, 2024, described Nigeria’s kidnapping racket as a sign of a failed state. With all of these happening in our nation, how then can we attract foreign investors, & retain the confidence of local investors?” Obi questioned.

The former presidential candidate also pointed out the challenges of food insecurity, with escalating food prices, and power outages affecting over 60% of the population. 

He mentioned a 2022 Energy Progress Report that identified Nigeria as having the most significant number of individuals without electricity access.

Obi emphasised the state of healthcare, with about 80% of primary healthcare centres non-operational and medical costs soaring. Also, he addressed the educational crisis, with approximately 20 million children not attending school.

“I, therefore, urge our executive and legislative arms to consider the many challenges facing our nation and re-allocate resources to these very critical areas,” he concluded.