Unic Press UK: The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental and non-profit making organization has dragged the Nigerian government to the United Nations (UN) over the 2020 Budget.
SERAP, in an urgent appeal to the UN, described the decision of the Executive and the Legislative arms of government to cut the initial budgetary provisions for healthcare/education to allocate a whooping ₦27 billion ($69.5 million) for the renovation of the National Assembly Complex is “unlawful, disproportionate and discriminatory”.
Through the letter of appeal, which is for the attention of three UN Special Rapporteurs – Special Rapporteur on the right to education; Ms. Koumbou Boly Barry; and the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Puras; and the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter; SERAP urged the United Nations to intervene by putting pressure on the Nigerian government and the National Assembly:
- Take immediate action to reverse the budget cuts to healthcare and education and to redirect the ₦27 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex to increase healthcare and education budgets;
- Provide information and details of impact assessments undertaken prior to cutting the budgets for healthcare and education;
- Provide details of initiatives to cut the costs of governance;
- Provide information about the government and National Assembly’s plans to ensure that people will enjoy access to healthcare and quality education; and the authorities’ plans to maintain progress towards the achievement of the SDGs, including to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all;
- Provide details on specific steps taken to protect the rights of vulnerable and disenfranchised groups to access quality education; and to achieve the right to health of women and core-obligations which encompass maternal health care