FG to return 2016 budget to National Assembly – Here’s why

FG to return 2016 budget to National Assembly – Here’s why




The last is yet to be heard on the
controversial 2016 budget as the presidency
is alleged to have discovered some
inconsistencies in the document and is set
to return the bill to the National Assembly
for reworking.


It was earlier reported that President
Muhammadu Buhari had intended to
assent to the bill before travelling off to
China, however, with the latest discovery,
the President will not be signing the bill
anytime soon.
It remains to be seen if this signals a face-
off between the executive arm of
government and the legislators, considering
that the 2016 budget has so far drawn bad
blood, accusations and counter-accusation
between both arms of government.


According to Punch Newspapers, all the
Ministers, except one, in President Buhari’s
cabinet had errors in their budget.


The discovery was made during the Federal
Executive council chaired by the Vice
President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday.
The lawmakers are said to have changed the
original sums in the budget and replaced
with reduced amounts.


According to a senior civil servant, who
spoke to Punch on the condition of
anonymity: “Only one minister did not have
any problem with the budget details the
National Assembly submitted to the
President.”


“There are instances, where they completely
removed projects and padded the budget by
inserting theirs. The lawmakers should
know that the budget is the document of
the executive and it takes responsibility for
it.”


“The coastal railway project is one of the
reasons the President is in China. N60bn
counterpart funding has been provided.”


“We are working on two major rail arteries.
The Lagos-Kano line and the Calabar – Lagos
line. While the Lagos-Kano provision was
left intact by the National Assembly, the
Calabar – Lagos line was removed.”



“Another major area noticed was the
completion of on-going road projects. While
the executive in the budget provided for the
completion of all major road projects, the
National Assembly reduced the amounts
budgeted for them and instead, inserted
new road projects which studies have not
even been conducted.”


“The amounts allocated by the National
Assembly for the projects can neither
complete the ongoing projects nor the new
ones. At the end of 2016, no significant
progress would have been made.”



“Another major flaw in the budget is in the
health sector. Proposals made for the
purchase of essential drugs for major
health issues such as Polio and AIDs were
removed by the National Assembly.”
Furthermore, changes were made in the
areas of agriculture and water resources.
Faced with a falling economy, the Nigerian
government had banked its hope on
agriculture to help build a stronger
economy, however, the National Assembly
also changed figures allocated to this
sector.



According to Vanguard, who also spoke to a
senior civil servant on the condition of
anonymity: “It was observed that certain
provisions made in the areas of agriculture
and water resources to further the Federal
Government’s diversification project were
either removed or reduced while the funds
were moved to provisions of rural health
facilities and boreholes, for which
provisions have been made elsewhere.”


“The President is desirous of signing the Bill
into law so that implementation of the
provisions could begin in earnest for the
benefit of the people.


That is why the
moment he received the document on
Thursday, a meeting was convened for
Friday to immediately start work on it.”
The health ministry was not spared as
several budgetary allocation made for it was
slashed by the lawmakers.



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Posted by Adeapin. Francis adebayo., Published at Monday, April 11, 2016 and have 0 comments

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