President Muhammed Buhari has been asked to stop the sale of government properties to fund the 2021 budget and borrowing.

The call was made by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) asking the National Assembly to stop President Buhari.

Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’ Deputy director in a statement issued on Sunday appealed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to bar the President from carrying out such moves via a letter addressed on January 16.

Part of the statement reads: “urgently review the 2021 appropriation legislation to stop the government of President Muhammadu Buhari from selling public properties to fund the 2021 budget, and to identify areas in the budget to cut such as salaries and allowances for members and the Presidency to make sayings to address the growing level of deficit and borrowing.”

“The National Assembly has a constitutional and oversight responsibility to protect valuable public properties and to ensure responsible budget spending. Allowing the government to sell public properties, and to enjoy almost absolute discretion to borrow to fund the 2021 budget would amount to a fundamental breach of constitutional and fiduciary duties.

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“This would be vulnerable to corruption and mismanagement. It would undermine the social contract with Nigerians, leave the government worse off, and hurt the country in the long run. It is neither necessary nor in the public interest.”

The organisation also called for a change in the country’s fiscal situation through some combination of cuts in spending on salaries and allowances, and a freeze on spending in certain areas of the budget such as hardship and furniture allowances, entertainment allowances, international travels, and buying of motor vehicles and utilities for members and the Presidency.

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On borrowing of loans, SERAP also asked the parliament “to stop approving loan requests by the Federal Government if it continues to fail to demonstrate transparency and accountability in the spending of the loans so far obtained.”

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