Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi is the representative of Kaduna North Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate. He defeated Senator Ahmed Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna State during the 2015 Parliamentary election. He won the election under the platform of APC. He spoke on the 2016 Appropriation Bill
2016 Budget as an ambitious Budget
The All Progressive Congress (APC) is an ambitious party. The APC Government is the product of ambitious, new, born-again minded Nigeria, therefore its first budget must attempt to achieve very clear far reaching goals.
Meeting the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians
A responsible government when formed must try to achieve three basic things. One, avoiding the mistakes of its predecessors, in this case the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Two, satisfying the most basic yearnings and aspirations of the common people that brought the government into power and Three, try to maintain the confidence of the electorate till the next election.
However, the irresponsible government on the other hand, is government that lost election and after loosing the election failed to recognize their areas of sheer negligence against the interest of the common people who decided to kick them out of office.
Therefore, the 2016 budget is the ambitious budget of the Nigerian electorate that decided to entrust power in the hands of the APC. This is why the budget has to satisfy three major components despite the very world economic difficulties and hurdles.
The three components are, One, the N6.1 trillion budget which is the highest in the entire history of governance in Nigeria. Secondly, The N1.8 trillion capital budget representing 30% total expenditure profile, a record that has never been attempted within the 16 years of the PDP misrule in Nigeria. Thirdly, the N1.4 trillion, otherwise doubtful debt repayment profile of the PDP ousted Administration.
With these three epic targets, this budget will by far be the highest attempt by any democratically elected government in Nigeria. In other words, it is the first time government made attempt to achieve this feat since the birth of Nigeria as a nation.
Global Economic challenges
Apart from daunting financial crises the ousted PDP government left behind – the near dead economy of the country due to the weakness of the Naira against Dollar at all time negative level of N290 to N300 to the Dollar; the country is also faced with the unbelievable downturn of events in the world energy oil market plummeting oil to an all time low price of about 28 Dollars per barrel.
This analysis above requires a highly respectable, responsible & fiscal discipline of the APC Administration to work this tight economic rope.
Borrowing & running a deficit budget
The much noise about borrowing and running a deficit budget is laughable for the following reasons: One, for the 16 years of the PDP Government, they had always run year in, year out a deficit budget where most of the amount of money had been stolen. This is clearly shown by the two notorious issues of Dasukigate and fuel subsidy scam. Two, the strongest economies of the world, like United States of America and China ran deficit budget to address challenges, less daunting than the one we are facing in Nigeria. Three, all the oil economies of the world have gone into one deficit budget financing or another in this year 2016. It is instructive to note that these so called oil economies did not go through the butcher eyes of the PDP as in Nigeria.
Some Items to watch: Why the production cost of oil per barrel within Nigerian soil is one of the highest in the world; the over N1 trillion rice bill Nigeria have to settle, despite the abundant blessing of agricultural land for cultivation for both domestic and exports needs as well as the over 280 million Dollars annual school fees forex said to be dolled out while million children are still out of the school. (Source: Thelegislature.net)