PDP Rejects Slash In Health, Education Budgets

Following the slashing of the 2020 budget, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately recall the budget and rework the figures to reflect a 100% increase in the initial figures.

The party described the presidential action as the “height of insensitivity to the plights of Nigerians.”

The PDP, which rejected the slashing, said reverting to the initial figures would be a step towards meeting the needs of the citizens in the affected sub sectors of the economy.

Recall that Buhari had slashed the 2020 budgetary allocations for basic health care from N44.4 billion to N25.5b, and the Universal Basic Education (UBE) budget from N111.7 billion to N51.1 billion.

A statement issued on Wednesday by Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the budget cut has shown that the administration did not mean well for Nigeria.

The statement reads :”The PDP insists that in slashing the budget for the primary health need of the people to N25.5 billion (a 42% cut) and UBE budget to N51.1 billion (a 54% cut), in a country of over 200 million people, who are already economically overburden, the APC and its administration have further exposed that they have never had the welfare of Nigerians at heart.

“The party said no government, which genuinely means well for its citizens, will vote a paltry N25.5 billion for basic health care for 200 million people in 774 local governments, particularly at this time our nation is facing huge health challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, while allocating a bigger sum of N27.7 billion for renovation of the National Assembly complex, which is not even in a distress state.”

The party said though it had nothing against the improvement of the working condition of the National Assembly, placing the renovation of the chamber above health care was a misplacement of priority by Buhari and the leaders of APC.

“A critical analysis of the allocations indicates that with the N25.5 billion voted for primary health care in a country of over 200 million citizens, President Buhari and the APC plan to spend only about N125 per Nigerian at the primary health care level, within the 2020 fiscal year.

“In the same vein, with the N51.1 billion allocation for basic education in a country of estimated 43 million school-age children, the APC Federal Government is deeming it proper to spend only N1,186 per child at the UBE level in 2020 fiscal year.

“The PDP wonders if the APC government targets to achieve more  out-of-school children as well as more health need deficit in our country,” it said.

Therefore, it rejected the action, “to downgrade the health need of our people as well as the education necessity of our children.”

Furthermore, the statement said “It is even more distressing that the APC administration would still cut the primary healthcare budget in spite of the recent confession by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, that our health sector had gone moribund despite claims of interventions by the current administration.

“Moreover, the slashing of the budget,  for basic education despite the poor state of the sector since the last five years, shows that the APC administration has no value for education and prefers to draw our nation back in global competitiveness in critical sectors.”

It finally urged the president to place premium on the welfare and development of Nigerians by cutting “the size of his government, clipping its luxuries, curbing the unbridled corruption by APC leaders so as to make more resources available for the health and education need of our citizens.”

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