Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF and Governor of Kebbi state, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has said that Nigeria needs $500 billion to meet the pressing needs of Nigerians. He said this in Abuja at the public presentation of APC’s Litmus Tests, a book written by the Director General, Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman. He said; “I scanned through the book and many issues the author has reflected upon and as to the title…… Nigeria’s inadequate budgetary provision for its developmental aspirations; “When one compares it (Nigerian budget) with the United States, a country with 331 million people, you find that in 2019, the United States federal budget was over $3.5 trillion and 1% of $3.5 trillion is $35 billion. That means our budget is less than 1% of the United States budget and yet, we are looking after a population that is about 70% of the United States population.
“If one considers the actual distribution of revenue, it even reflects the truth. For example, from January this year to May, the Federation Allocations Account Committee meetings, there is no month yet, where the equivalent of $2 billion has been distributed. So, if things go this way, that means $24 billion will be distributed by the three tiers of government. Our spending per person is about $98 to $103 which is in the same league with Niger and Chad.
“This is the central challenge that we need to communicate and President Muhammadu Buhari has shown us the way by discipline, by value for money but our quest, includes of necessity, expanding our horizon so that we can see how will move the $35 billion dollar federal budget to $300 billion, $500 billion federal budget because only then, can we meet some of our expectations, some of our aspirations in all sectors. But before then, we will continue to struggle to find enough money for security, to find enough money for health, to find enough money for education, and part of APC’s litmus test is to communicate this properly to Nigeria so that in making choices, we are not blinded by promises”, he added.