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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

PDP senator: Buhari’s budget is dead on arrival


Eyinnaya Abaribe, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Abia south, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 budget as “dead on arrival”.
While making his contribution to the debate on the budget on the floor of the senate on Wednesday, Abaribe also called for its withdrawal.
“Mr President, my colleagues, this budget is indeed unique.; after the budget presentation, the finance minister has never come to explain the details of the budget as it is normally done,” he said.‎
“It is a budget of change I agree but it is a change in the wrong direction; I say it is a change in the wrong direction because it says that it is based on zero budgeting requiring all expenses to be fully justified.‎
“Mr President, a budget that increases spending up to 30 per cent based solely on borrowing, in what way is it justified? That is the question we want to ask the people who brought this budget as change.
“We know what is going on in the global economy: this budget is predicated on an oil benchmark of $38 per barrel and I can now say that with oil being $28 today, this budget is dead on arrival.
“The job of the opposition is to help the government to get its priorities right so I want to please urge this government to withdraw this budget and go back to the drawing board.‎

“Mr President, a budget that moves domestic spending within Aso Villa from N580m to N1.7bn cannot be a budget of change.
“We were told that in the revised budget there was an adjustment due to error, we agree but what has happened is that the money up to N7 billion were moved from buying vehicles to being spread in offices.
“It also increases the spending that is due to renovations within the Villa; they are going to renovate the Villa with N3.9bn. What else do you want to renovate there that Nigerians will see in the year 2016?”
Also making his contribution, Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, called for the reduction of the budget by 30 percent.

“This budget is for all Nigerians and not for the PDP and APC; there are over 30 political parties in Nigeria,” he said.
“For the first time, I want to appeal that we should reduce this budget by 30 percent.‎ Whether we like it or not, we are going through a recession.
“Instead of financing the budget through borrowing, we should devise a means to finance the budget by raising the revenue. We should reduce the cost of governance, we need to concentrate on existing projects.
“My consolation is that this parliament has the final say on it.‎ We have 35bn on information or we are providing for propaganda‎?”
On his part, Ahmed Lawan, an All Progressives Congress (APC) senator from Yobe north said: “The problem is and has always been corruption and corruption. For 16 years, Nigeria was subjected to impunity.

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