Radio and television stations are usually agog each time the FG rolls out a request for approval to borrow. Most citizens only follow the allocations in a budget and quarrel over who got and did not get what. It is seeing how the budgeted amount may come or not come that matters to some of us, because if you do not earn, you do not spend.
We tell listeners that it is when the budget is presented and the deficit in the coming budget is stated and request for borrowing is placed before the NASS that citizens have the leeway to stop it. The deficit in a budget is what the government wants to borrow. The budget will state that they would finance the deficit with loans. If the Parliament approves it and the president signs it, it becomes law. So, any time the president puts up paper request to go and borrow, it’s not a fresh request or a new law. So, do not crucify the lawmakers at that point. The time to debate or shout is now.
In shouting however, suggest how the budget should be balanced without borrowing. Tell the lawmakers what to cut, and where to go look for the revenue to meet up. If you want recurrent side to be cut, suggest which salaries to cut off, which workers to drop. If its capital you want to cut, suggest the projects to be stopped. If there are ongoing projects, suggest the ones to abandon and the new ones to stop. After all, SERAP has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to cut the N26Bn for medical trips. Great! But they forgot that once the Bill is laid before Parliament, it’s only NASS that can adjust it after which only an amendment after signing can occur, as happened in the PIA. So, let others suggest what should be cut down or off so the budget will not have deficit and the FG would not have to borrow. The hour has come.
What we hear from the opposition party is writing off the budget and insulting it, just as they have done over the recent years. They, as a kind of shadow government, ought to point out the stupid areas/items, suggest better items and balance the budget. This way, the masses would know why they would have made a better government or when they come in, what would make them better.
They would suggest what to do about subsidy to reduce spending, they would tell us what they would do about equalization fund, what to do to bring down cost of running the government, salaries, security budget that has shot up to 15% of budget, etc. Let’s help the nation, now, or keep mute afterward.