The spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kassim Afegbua, has criticised the 2020 budget proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
Afegbua who was a guest on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics, said he expected the president to take his time to present a well-rounded budget that captures the current realities of the country.
He, therefore, described the proposed budget as “brilliant in nothingness”.
“The 2020 budget is very brilliant in nothingness, beautiful in rhetorics and empty in terms of realist appraisal of what the issues are, with respect to getting us out of the present predicament we’ve found ourselves,” he said.
“I was expecting that the president will tarry for a while to consult with his economic advisers so that they can make some very wonderful inputs into the budget but the haste at which he presented it, certain benchmarks that are not realistic, point to one direction that the APC-LED Federal Government does not understand the dynamics that obtain in the present government”.
Meanwhile, Mr Afegbua also took a swipe at the APC government over allegations of attempting to gag the press.
Reacting to comments by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, about the government’s plan to license WebTV and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into the country, he said he believes the move is aimed at stifling the activities of the press.
“I’m still trying to wonder why a government that is not trying to gag the press would come up with very obnoxious fees that will be paid by media organisations if in their own opinion they are found to have contravened certain sections of the NBC Code or NBC Act,” he said.
“I think under a democracy, the president does not enjoy that fiat to decide or to decree things into existence in a manner that will suggest that it is taking over the responsibility of the National Assembly which is vested with that responsibility of making laws, for the good governance of the country, to the extent of increasing penalties for breaches from 500,000 to 5 million and in that sequence, is quite undemocratic.
“The law guiding the broadcast media is very clear.
“The NBC Code is an old law that was put in place under the military government and is long overdue for some amendments but we are worried about a situation where the APC-led Federal Government has an NBC that is headed by an APC card-carrying member, who ran for election in Kwara State for governorship and is being made to be the Director-General of the NBC to superintend or moderate the activities of the broadcast media”.