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An Alternative 2016 Budget Speech - Tolu Ogunlesi

An Alternative 2016 Budget Speech - Tolu Ogunlesi

Fellow Nigerians,

1. I am delighted to present this budget speech, the first by our great and mighty party since we defeated and humiliated the grossly overrated opposition party in the March 28 presidential elections and achieved for ourselves, and our God, a great triumph in the eyes of Nigerians and of the entire world.

2. You are aware of the grave macroeconomic difficulties the country is facing, as the price of oil has fallen by sixty per cent since last year. What are we going to do? We’re almost as puzzled as you are, but because we are the government, as is expected of us, we are determined to take action to gain the confidence you’re valiantly struggling to repose in us.

3. In the spirit of austerity, we are hereby proposing a budget of N2trillion only, a fifty-something per cent cutback from the 2015 budget. We have to cut our aso-ebi according to our material. Because of the drastic scale-back, there will be no capital budget for 2016. We will be running a 100 per cent recurrent budget. We will resume capital spending in 2017, by the grace of the Almighty God. Any capital spending will have to be done by the private sector. Indeed, by withdrawing from capital spending, we are providing the space for the private sector to take charge of the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy. We hope that they will not let us down.

4. The international finance organisations are prophesying that our economy will grow by only 3 per cent next year. We say God forbid! Back to sender! We are committed to double-digit growth in 2016 and we shall leave no stone unturned to make this happen. As a first move we will be rebasing every ‘rebasable’ economic indicator in the New Year. If it exists, it will be rebased. We will rebase our GDP, rebase our growth rate, rebase our population, rebase our poverty rate, rebase our budget, and rebase our domestic and foreign debt. 2016 is our year of rebasing!

5. Our 2016 budget projection shall be based on an oil price of $60 per barrel, because we intend to ensure that the price of oil is rebased as well. We envisage a daily production of 500,000 barrels – we predict that the rest will be stolen and bunkered by pirates and militants who want to bring down our government but will not succeed, by the grace of God.

6. If we are able to crush Boko Haram or broker a ceasefire agreement with them and commence oil production in the Lake Chad Basin, we will be looking at an extra 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day. We are willing to work out a suitable sharing formula with the insurgents, if it would guarantee that lasting peace returns to the region. All hands will be on deck to ensure that on no account shall Boko Haram get access to a quantity of oil that will allow them displace ISIS as the most oil-rich terror group in the world.

7. To ensure that we teach the pirates and Boko Haram a lesson they will never forget, we will be allocating half of the 2016 budget to security and defence. The Office of the National Security Adviser shall oversee this budget and allocate what is necessary to the relevant offices. Our priority area for defence spending is ‘spiritual consultancy’, because we know that there will be no victory without God. We also intend to ensure that the consulting work is no longer restricted to alfas and prophets alone, but that we widen the catchment area, in the spirit of federal character, to include dibias, babalawos, priests of egbesu and others.

8. The N1trillion that will be left after we have settled the military and intelligence and national security agencies will be disbursed as follows: • Salaries, allowances and overheads for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs): N150billion • Attracting foreign investors: N50billion • Presidency: N200billion • Presidential Villa: N100billion • Aso Rock: N100billion • State House: N100billion • Office of the First Lady: N200billion • Miscellaneous: N100billion (this includes but is not limited to debt servicing. Through the Office of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, we have assembled a robust plan aimed at ensuring we get substantial debt relief from local and foreign creditors on a level that will put the 2006 relief bonanza to eternal shame).

9. The Judiciary and the National Assembly have been directed to fend for themselves as part of the Autonomy Implementation Agenda of the Federal Government. We are convinced that it is time for the Executive to grant the other arms of government the independence they have long clamoured for and that this independence will make no sense if it does not extend to the realms of budgetary provisioning. A truly independent Judiciary and a truly independent Legislature should indeed independently source their own revenue and deploy it as they wish. Therefore, the duo is hereby classified as independent revenue-generating agencies and will be lavishly encouraged to derive their revenue from their adjudicatory and oversight functions respectively.

10. Fellow Nigerians, it is, once again, my great pleasure to present this great and hallowed and distinguished Budget of Uncommon, Independent and Spiritual Transformation to you. It reflects our commitment to ensuring that whoever takes over from this administration at the appointed time will be neither idle nor bored, but will instead find themselves sufficiently occupied with the onerous task of hauling this great nation of God along towards its indeterminate destiny. Thank you for listening and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

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