Saturday, 16 April 2016

Panic in National Assembly over 2016 budget manipulation

There is serious panic among the members of the National Assembly over allegations that some lawmakers distorted the 2016 by allocating huge projects worth billions of Naira to themselves.

According to reports by Vanguard, the affected lawmakers cornered substantial amount of money in the budget under the guise of constituency projects.

The lawmakers were said to have cornered projects worth N1.6 billion each, leaving another level of committee men with N1.5 billion each and a general sum of N200 million for other legislators. 

Meanwhile, the leadership of the House of Representatives is making moves to address some of the concerns raised by the executive arm of government in the budget. The report stated that the leadership of the lower house the funds allocated for constituency projects would be redirected to finance other critical national projects. 

Another report by Leadership, stated that the ball was set rolling when the Speaker of the house, Honourable Yakubu Dogara turned down the N3 billion assigned to him for projects in the North east in his capacity as a principal of the house. It was gathered that some loyalists of the president in the National Assembly brought his attention to the plot and urged him not to sign the budget when it gets to him. 

The revelation has however divided the National Assembly into two factions, with one faction backing President Muhamadu Buhari while the other, opposed to the government. 

A source at the presidency was quoted as saying the tip-off by the president’s loyalists was what informed Buhari’s statement that he would study the budget line by line, ministry by ministry before assenting to it. 

After the president scrutinized the budget, it was discovered that the lawmakers removed some major projects like the Calabar-Lagos coastal rail line for which Buhari made a provision of N60 billion. recalls that Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, the chairman House committee on public petitions last week advised President Buhari to read details of the 2016 budget himself before appending his signature to the document.

Source- Leadership,, Vanguard

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