Panic stricken APC governors send Buhari 33 point economic proposal
With the deteriorating economic and security situation in Nigeria ahead of the 2023 General Elections, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have submitted a 33 point proposal to the President, Muhammadu Buhari for urgent implementation during a meeting last month. This is according to a report in the Premium Times.
This has been seen as another desperate attempt by the ruling party to cling on to political power by all means. The question being asked on social media is why did it take this long for it to be suggested to the Buhari administration who have sensed that the Labour Party’s Peter Obi will win in a landslide due to the dire economic situation that no amount of vote buying and rigging will prevent.
The newspaper reported that the governors advised the federal government to offer federal civil servants who are older than 50 years a one-off retirement package to exit the service.
They equally urged the federal government to immediately put an end to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financing of the government’s budgetary expenditures and convert its N19 trillion debt into a 100-year bond.
The governors were concerned about the deteriorating state of the economy and the ripple effect on the nation ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Earlier in the week, a PREMIUM TIMES investigation of Nigeria’s external reserves revealed that the figures amount to only $15 billion, well below the $36 billion balance on the gross external reserves claimed by the central bank. With the nation spending N5.9 trillion on imports in the first quarter of the year, reserves of $15 billion would barely cover four months of imports. On the low value of the Naira the governors revealed that the Central Bank printed N19 trillion “Ways and Means” for FGN expenditures contrary to the CBN and Fiscal Responsibility Acts and in violation of the law. PMS subsidies under the guise of ‘under-recovery’ have wiped out virtually all accretions to the foreign reserves and CBN’s ‘fixed exchange’ stance discouraged foreign investment (peak of $90bn investment commitments in 2018, to $20bn in 2021), and Diaspora inflows ($20 billion in 2022 to less than $17 billion in 2021).
The desperate 33 steps the governors gave Buhari to ensure the APC victory in 2023 are outlined below.
Savings are in brackets.
1. Eliminate PMS subsidy/under-recovery – (N6-7 trillion)
2. Eliminate NNPC’s Federation-funded projects – (N300 billion)
3. Cap Social Investment Program (SIP) and National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) budgets to N200 billion – (N570 billion)
4. Eliminate extra-constitutional deductions from FAAC – (N100 billion)
5. Reduce SWV items for SDG and NASS Constituency projects – (N300 billion)
6. Reduce duplications (e.g. empowerment programmes) and waste – (N100 billion)
7. Reduce 1 per cent granted to NASENI to 0.2 per cent. Amend the Act in the 2022 Finance Bill.
8. Offer federal civil servants above 50 years (a) one-off retirement package to exit the service – (N350 billion), and employ lower-cost, more ICT-complaint youths and women graduates.
9. Begin implementation of the updated Stephen Oronsaye Report – (N1 trillion)
10. Expedite privatization of non-performing assets. (Billions of Naira)
11. 2023 – 2025 MTEF to be revised and updated to reflect above expenditure management measures and Government’s commitment to restore fiscal discipline.
12. Planned 22 per cent increase in salaries in 2023 to be reconsidered.
13. Reduce fiscal deficit to no more than 2 per cent of GDP in 2023 – 2025.
14. Foreign trips by MDAs, including budgetary-independent agencies such as CBN, FIRS, NPA, NIMASA and NCC, etc. to be put on hold for at least one year.
19. Increase VAT levels to 10 per cent with a timeline to raise it to between 15 per cent and 20 per cent.
20. Ensure re-introduction and passage of VAT into the Exclusive List.
21. End CBN financing of FGN expenditures and convert the N19 trillion Ways and Means outstanding into 100-year, 1 per cent bonds immediately.
22. Introduce a flat 3 per cent Federal Personal Income Tax on all Nigerians earning more than N30,000 per month. – (N100 billion)
23. Persons earning less than N30,000 per month whether employed or not, including farmers and traders should pay a monthly FPIT of N100.
24. Telecom firms and NIMC should collaborate to ensure deduction of this from phone credit of individuals and linking to NIN and BVN.
25. Centralize the collection of all federal oil and non-oil taxes in one agency, the FIRS while Customs, NPA, etc assess and issue demands.
26. Improve offshore crude oil and gas production.
27. Resolve lingering issues of ownership of gas in PSCs (eg Nnwa-Doro, OML 129). This will help position Nigeria to take advantage of the gas needs in Europe.
28. Provide incentives and resolve issues to expedite development of vandalism-resistant deep offshore fields like Bonga SW (Shell), Preweoi (Total), Zabazaba (ENI) and Owowo (Exxon).
29. Encourage (and pre-finance, if necessary) Dangote Refinery to early completion to reduce massive future outflows of foreign exchange.
30. The Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, and Development Bank of Nigeria should be recapitalised
31. Funds in NIRSAL controlled by CBN should be redirected to the Development Banks.
32: CBN should be directed to focus on its core and statutory mandate of exchange rate management, interest rate management and inflation targeting. It should also be directed to cease competing with development and commercial banks.
33. CBN’s subsidized interventions in the real sector should be ended and the relevant institutions recapitalized to provide these services.
Source Twitter/Premium Times