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2024 budget can’t be implemented, says Suswam

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A former governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam, said the 2024 budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu cannot be implemented because it contains an N17 trillion deficit.

The PUNCH reports that  Tinubu presented N27.5 trillion as a proposed budget for the 2024 fiscal year to members of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Suswam, who stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while addressing 25 fellows of the Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship, explained that the budget is made so because people without required leadership skills are in power.

The programme is an initiative of The Bridge; it involves a comprehensive year-long, non-partisan program designed to identify and prepare future political leaders, fostering their readiness for leadership roles within the country.

The former governor, who lamented that the quality of representation in Nigeria is becoming poorer, instead of it going higher added that “Leadership needs some intellectual content. If you don’t have it, there is nothing that you can do about it.”

He stated  “I was looking at the budget, out of the whole money in that budget, the deficit is N17 trillion. Because you have N9 trillion of deficit, N8 trillion of debt service, then you have N2.7 trillion of tax expenditure, that is a waiver.

“So the entire money, the N27 trillion budget is not implementable. Do you know why we have that? Because we have people in leadership with no intellectual content.”

Earlier in his speech, the founder of The Bridge’s Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship and former governor of Cross River State, Lyel Imoke, called for a deliberate effort to mentor Nigerian youths to correct the imbalance in the polity.

On why he established the fellowship, the former governor said, “I saw a genuine desire in the young people to participate in governance. But at the same time, they are not equipped to fully participate. So that was why we started The Bridge Leadership Foundation.”

He assured that the foundation will continue to facilitate mentorship training for young Nigerians to venture into politics and make a difference.

On his part, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, charged political leaders to come together to tackle Nigeria’s challenges.

He “We have huge challenges today in our system. There is a lot to our democracy. There is a need for the political class to come together and ask good questions. Where are we getting to? Are we getting it right? If we are not, what do we need to do?

Ihedioha urged the fellows to study their environment before jumping into contesting an election, adding that “Many are called a few are chosen, so consider yourself lucky.  You have to work hard to get elected in Nigeria.”

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