DEAR NIGERIANS WHO DO YOU THINK YOUR REAL ENEMIES ARE?
With the current budget brouhaha between the Federal Government and the National Assembly, one wonders when this whole charade would end. The Buhari administration has been fraught with late signing of budgets and blaming casting by the Executive and the Legislatures, allegations of budget padding by both arms of government. This has been on-going for three years now, while the Nigerian masses are left to suffer the consequences of these selfish acts of those who were elected to lead us.
President Buhari eventually saved Nigerians extra drama and signed the budget on Wednesday June 20, and in the process he exposed the serious budget cuts, padding and awarding of unapproved projects by the NASS. For the first time Nigerians actually had an idea of what the NASS had been doing with the budget for the past 7 months.
PRESIDENT BUHARI’S SPEECH via Twitter
A few minutes past noon today, I signed the 2018 Appropriation Bill into Law.
I am however concerned about some of the changes @nassnigeria has made to the budget proposals I presented. The logic behind the Constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that, it is the Executive that knows & defines its policies & projects.
Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me. The National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.
Many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation. Some of the new projects inserted by @nassnigeria have not been properly conceptualized, designed and costed and will therefore be difficult to execute.
Such examples of projects from which cuts were made are as follows:
At a time when we are working with Labour to address compensation-related issues, a total of 5 billion Naira was cut from the provisions for Pension Redemption Fund and Public Service Wage Adjustment.
The provision for Construction of the Terminal Building at Enugu Airport was cut from 2 billion Naira to 500 million Naira, which will further delay the completion of this critical project.
The Take-off Grant for the Maritime University in Delta State, a key strategic initiative of the Federal Government, was cut from 5 billion Naira to 3.4 billion Naira.
About seventy (70) new road projects have been inserted into the budget of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing @FMPWH. In doing so, @nassnigeria applied some of the additional funds expected from the upward review of the oil price benchmark to the Ministry’s vote.
Another area of concern is the increase by @nassnigeria of the provisions for Statutory Transfers by an aggregate of 73.96 billion Naira. Most of these increases are for recurrent expenditure at a time we are trying to keep down the cost of governance.
An example of this increase is the budget of the National Assembly itself which has increased by 14.5 billion Naira, from 125 billion Naira to 139.5 billion Naira without any discussion with the Executive.
Notwithstanding the above stated observations, I have decided to sign the 2018 Budget in order not to further slowdown the pace of recovery of our economy, which has doubtlessly been affected by the delay in passing the budget.
INSTEAD NASS DID THIS
The National Assembly RAISED their allocation from N125b to 139.5b
*Slashed allocation to Maritime University, Delta State from N5b to N3.4b*
* *Slashed allocation to Enugu Airport Terminal Building from N2b to N500m*
* *Slashed Pensions by N5b*
* *Slashed Housing by N8.7b*
* *Slashed Unity School security by N3b*
* *Slashed allocation to Health by N7.45b*
* *Slashed allocation to UN building security from N4b to N100m*
* *Slashed allocation to 2nd Niger Bridge, *Manbila Power project* *East-West*
*Road* *Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, Bonny-Boddo Road in Rivers State and*
*Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail project by a whopping N11.5b*
According to Seun Oluketuyi, a journalist “I have read the cries of the presidency on the 2018 budget and in my personal opinion it smacks of incompetence and lack of understanding of how Democracy works. I wonder why all the Presidency Aides in charge of Budget and the PLO could not initiate a solution to the issues at stake or how the Minister in charge of Budget and Finance could not get the president to seat down with the NASS heads and take the issues that affects me and you but instead they spend the better part of the year in needless fights about 2018.
If they don’t know in developed countries the rulers no matter how powerful negotiates and arm-twists to get what they want from its Legislators
Here is Theresa May battling to resolve Brexit wahala
And Almighty Trump to resolve Budget issues
Rather than all the cries,The presidency should take this as another failure to deliver because both houses have APC as majority and all the noise and spin will further damage an already threatened relationship. God help Nigeria
Dear Nigerians, who do you think your real enemies are?