Buhari Attacks National Assembly, Blames Lawmakers For ‘Worrisome Changes’ Made To 2022 Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the year 2022 Appropriation Bill to law on Friday. 

 

Buhari signed N17.1 trillion as approved by the National Assembly members against the N16.3 trillion proposed by the President in October.

This suggests that over N700 billion was added to the proposed appropriation.

 

In his remarks, while submitting the budget, Buhari described the changes made by the federal lawmakers are worrisome. 

 

“I am delighted to sign into law today the 2022 appropriation bill as well as the enabling 2021 finance bill,” Buhari began. 

See Also Politics President Buhari Signs 2022 Budget Into Law

Though he as a matter of observing protocols thanked the two principal officials of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the President bore his anger on them. 

 

“I would like to thank the Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and indeed all the Distinguished and Honourable Leaders and members of the National Assembly for the expeditious consideration and passage of these bills.

 

“The 2022 budget that I just signed into law provides for aggregate expenditures of N17.127 trillion, an increase of N735.85 billion over the initial Executive Proposal for a total expenditure of N16.391 trillion. N186.53 billion of the increase however came from additional critical expenditures that I had authorised the minister of finance, budget and national planning to forward to the national assembly. The Minister will provide the public with the details of the budget as passed by the national assembly, and signed into law by me,” he said. 

 

Buhari added, “It is in this regard that I must express my reservations about many of the changes that the national assembly has made to the 2022 executive budget proposal.

 

“Some of the worrisome changes are as follows:

 

“Increase in projected FGN independent revenue by N400 billion, the justification for which is yet to be provided to the executive;

 

“Reduction in the provision for Sinking Fund to Retire Maturing Bonds by N22 billion without any explanation;

 

“Reduction of the provisions for the Non-Regular Allowances of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Navy by N15 billion and N5 billion respectively. This is particularly worrisome because personnel cost provisions are based on agencies’ nominal roll and approved salaries/allowances;

 

“Furthermore, an increase of N21.72 billion in the Overhead budgets of some MDAs, while the sum of N1.96 billion was cut from the provision for some MDAs without apparent justification;

 

“Increase in the provision for Capital spending (excluding Capital share in Statutory Transfer) by a net amount of N575.63 billion, from N4.89 trillion to N5.47 trillion. Nevertheless, provisions for some critical projects were

reduced. These include: Reduction of N12.6 billion in the Ministry of Transport’s budget for the ongoing Rail Modernisation projects,

 

“Reduction of N25.8 billion from Power Sector Reform Programme under the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and

 

“Reduction of N14.5 billion from several projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, and introducing over 1,500 new projects into the budgets of this Ministry and its agencies.

 

“Inclusion of new provisions totalling N36.59 billion for National Assembly’s projects in the Service Wide Vote which negates the principles of separation of Powers and financial autonomy of the legislative arm of government.

 

“The changes to the original Executive proposal are in the form of new insertions, outright removals, reductions and/or increases in the amounts allocated to projects.

 

“Provisions made for as many as 10,733 projects were reduced while 6,576 new projects were introduced into the budget by the National

Assembly.

 

“Reduction in the provisions for many strategic capital projects to introduce ‘Empowerment ’projects. The cuts in the provisions for several of these projects by the National Assembly may render the projects unimplementable or set back their completion, especially some of this Administration’s strategic capital projects.

 

“Most of the projects inserted relate to matters that are basically the responsibilities of State and Local Governments, and do not appear to have been properly conceptualized, designed and cost.

 

“Many more projects have been added to the budgets of some MDAs with no consideration for the institutional capacity to execute the additional projects and/or for the incremental recurrent expenditure that may be required.” 

 

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