Government & Politics

2016 Budget: Rivers APC Issues Warning to National Assembly


Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, the state chairman of the APC in a statement said that the legislators erred in eliminating the an essential component of the appropriation bill. The statement reviews partially:”We are stunned to find in the documents concerning the extraction of several of the vital sections of the 2016 budget plan by the National Assembly. These consist of coastal railway project being jointly funded by Nigeria and China, for which an equivalent financing of N60 billion was offered, however which was totally gotten rid of by the National Assembly.

“While the Lagos– Kano provision was left untouched, the Calabar – Lagos line was inexplicably removed by the lawmakers. Also, the amount proposed for the completion of the Idu – Kaduna rail project which has reached an advanced stage was reduced by N8.7bn, a development which will make it difficult for the project to be completed.

“In addition, while the executive had provided for the completion of all major road projects across the country, the National Assembly reduced the amounts provided and instead included new roads which studies have not even been conducted.

“As if that is not enough, in the health sector, proposals made for the purchase of essential drugs for major health campaigns like Polio and AIDs for which the store is fast depleting were removed and the amounts allocated to provision of ambulance, which the ministry did not ask for.

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“Besides, certain provisions made in the areas of agriculture and water resources to further the federal government’s diversification project where either removed or reduced while the funds were moved to provision of rural health facilities and boreholes, for which provisions have been made elsewhere.

“Some hawks within NASS are saying that the missing portions are not contained in the budget in the first instance but we are aware that in the amended budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari last January after the dust had settled over the ‘missing budget’, the sum of N80 billion was included for the Calabar – Lagos rail project in the amended budget by the executive and submitted to NASS.

“After the submission, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, also followed up by presenting a document in defence of the Calabar – Lagos railway project to the National Assembly in order to ensure that it was passed as one of the subheads for the budget of his ministry. However, to our chagrin, this important aspect of the budget was removed for reasons we do not know.

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