Buhari signs 2018 budget, kicks as lawmakers inject 6,403 projects

By Editor on 20/06/2018

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Buhari signing the 2018 budget
Buhari signing the 2018 budget

…says NASS overburdening FG with N578bn projects meant for states, LGs

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally signed the 2018 Appropriation Act.

He signed the document a few minutes after midday on Wednesday in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

On his Twitter handle, the president said, “a few minutes past noon today, I signed the 2018 Appropriation Bill into Law.”

The President, however, raised concerns over some of the changes made by the National Assembly in the budget.

Buhari regretted that the federal lawmakers made reductions amounting to N347bn in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578bn.

Buhari wrote, “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.

“As it is, some of these projects relate to matters that are the responsibility of the States and Local Governments, and for which the Federal Government should therefore not be unduly burdened.”

The President lamented that the 2018 Appropriation Act, which he signed into law, would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement because of the alterations members of the National Assembly effected on the document he submitted to them on November 7, 2017.

He accused the federal lawmakers of, among others, increasing the National Assembly budget by N14.5bn from N125bn to N139.5bn without any discussion with the Executive.

He also accused them of injecting 6,403 projects of their own totaling N578bn into the national budget while making cuts amounting to N347bn in the allocations to 4,700 projects as submitted to them.

Buhari spoke shortly after signing the document into law in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The President noted that many of the projects cut are critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation.

He regretted that some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualised, designed and costed and will therefore be difficult to execute.

The President said, “As I mentioned during the presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill, we intend to use the 2018 Budget to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020.

“It is in this regard that I am concerned about some of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the budget proposals that I presented.

“The logic behind the constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that, it is the Executive that knows and defines its policies and projects.

“Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me. The National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347bn in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578bn.

“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 the National Assembly have not been properly conceptualised, designed and costed and will therefore be difficult to execute.

“Furthermore, many of these new projects introduced by the National Assembly have been added to the budgets of most MDAs with no consideration for institutional capacity to execute them or the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required.

“As it is, some of these projects relate to matters that are the responsibility of the States and Local Governments, and for which the Federal Government should therefore not be unduly burdened.”

Buhari cited examples of projects from which cuts were made to include the provisions for some nationally/regionally strategic infrastructure projects such as counterpart funding for the Mambilla Power Plant, Second Niger Bridge/ancillary roads, the East-West Road, Bonny-Bodo Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail Project which he said were cut by an aggregate of N11.5bn .

Similarly, the President said provisions for some ongoing critical infrastructure projects in Abuja, especially major arterial roads and the mass transit rail project were cut by a total of N7.5bn.

Posted 20/06/2018 10:16:27 PM

 

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