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Nigeria 2018 Budget: Nigerian Lawmakers’ Defend Allegations Of Manipulation

Unic Press UK: The Legislative arm of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has reacted to the allegations that it grossly altered the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which was, in November 2017, submitted by the Executive arm of government.

The lawmakers’ reaction followed scathing accusations by the presidency that the Legislative arm had made unilateral decisions that will undermine the execution of key projects.

During a press briefing Friday, Senator Aliyu Sabi of the Nigeria Senate and Hon Abdulrahaman Namdas of the House of Representatives defended the Legislative arm, insisting that all its decisions are in the best interests of the country.

Senator Sabi said:

“This is not a matter of blame game because, we examined every item properly and gave due attention to all segments which are justifiable. It should again be noted that the ₦12.5 billion and the ₦7.5 billion appropriated for the Second Niger Bridge in the 2016 and 2017 budget by the National Assembly were never utilized for the project,” the Voice of Nigeria reports.

In his speech Wednesday during the ceremony marking the signing into law of the 2018 Appropriation Bill, President Buhari had accused the National Assembly of arbitrarily tampering with the allocations earmarked for several vital projects. He flayed the decision of the lawmakers to unilaterally increase the lawmakers’ share in the 2018 budget by ₦14.5 billion. Buhari said:

The National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira. 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 conceptualized, designed and costed and will therefore be difficult to execute. An example of this increase is the budget of the National Assembly itself which has increased by 14.5 billion Naira, from 125 billion Naira to 139.5 billion Naira without any discussion with the Executive.”

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