2016 Budget: A Big Fraud – Reps Members | Independent Newspapers Limited
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2016 Budget: A Big Fraud – Reps Members

Posted: Jan 21, 2016 at 6:59 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
…Demand Apology From Buhari.
The content of the 2016 budget proposals submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari for passage has been condemned and castigated as a monumental fraud by some members of the House of Representatives.
Some members of the parliament, mostly of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the consideration of the money Bill on Thursday openly expressed disgust with some proposals as contained in the budget, which they said was a poorly coordinated means of robbing the nation.
They individually and collectively described the  corrected version of N6.07 trillion 2016 budget proposal submitted to the House as fraud and wasteful.
The lawmakers also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to apologise to Nigerians for the embarrassment the country suffered in the eyes of the international community over the alleged smuggling of 2016 budget in the National Assembly.
Some members of the House who made known their dissatisfaction with the budget during the debate on the Appropriation Bill accused the government of corruption.
Leading the pack while contribution on the floor of the House, member representing Egor, Ikpoba, Okha Federal Constituency of Edo State, Hon Johnson Agbonayinma, said that he did not see the first budget that was laid before the House on 22nd December, 2015 by President Buhari.
He said that it was his right to know the contents of the first budget document and the second one and that the president should apologise to the nation over the embarrassment the alleged smuggling of the budget document caused the country, adding that the budget had made mockery of the country.
Although, he was interrupted by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the plenary during the budget debate, Agbonayinma contended that it was a ‘monumental fraud’ for the president that was talking about cutting cost of governance to earmarked about N800 million just for website update in the villa.
He also wondered the rationale behind the budgeting of N322,421,971 million just to link cable from driver rest room to villa and another N213,873,957 to link cable from guest house to general house.
Speaking in an interview after the plenary, he said  he said, “First of all I represent a constituency, Egor, Ikpoba, Okha Federal Constituency of Edo State and if you go around you see a lot of youth unemployed.
“In the 21st century in a nation where you are talking about economic crunch you are now budgeting about 800 million, precisely 780 million to upgrade website.
“To me, that is monumental fraud that is deceit, I want Nigerians to see the light of day I want democracy to be sustainable, however we must have Nigeria’s interest at heart and embrace it.
“Until we engage ourselves, adhering to the three principal tenets of democratic doctrine, that is participation, loyalty and commitment to your dear nation, it’s not just speaking it, we must act, we must adhere to it in putting Nigerian first.This budget should speak for Nigerians not for certain individuals.
“There is no where on earth that you are upgrading a website and you are using seven hundred and ninety something million? That is almost a billion.
“He is our president so he should apologise because the embarrassing major TV station, CNN, Aljazera talking about Nigerians castigating us, that nothing is impossible in Nigeria. Certain good can come out of Nigeria.”
Also commenting on the budget, Hon Julius Pondi representing Burutu Federal Constituency of Delta State said the 2016 budget would not be realistic even as he described it as not being friendly.
Pondi wondered why the government should budget N4 billion on Aso Rock clinic even when the few privileged Nigerians working there always travelled out for medical treatment.
Hon Segun Adekola said that the federal government should have included the recovered funds as funding window in the budget.
He said, “Everyday we hear that money money is being recovered, this should be part of the funding of the budget.”
It was gathered that the sum of N3,889,015 billion was budgeted for the purchase of motor vehicles in the first budget presented by Buhari, but the amount was reduced to N340 million in the corrected version, while the sum of N3,914,197,062 which was not in the first budget document was now brought in the new one for annual maintenance of villa facilities.
Besides, the sum of N228,605 million for sourcing and purchasing of equipment (purchase and importation which was not in the first budget presented was contained on the corrected version.