Connect with us

Politics

Squabbles not over! Nigeria kicks-off 2018 budget year, 6 months after

Nigeria on Wednesday had its 2018 appropriation bill, containing the year’s federal spending details as approved by the National Assembly, signed into law

Published

on

Nigeria on Wednesday had its 2018 appropriation bill, containing the year’s federal spending details as approved by the National Assembly, signed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari gave legal teeth to the budget at the presidential villa in Abuja, the country’s capital city but not without a grumble.

The total budget is N9.1 trillion, up from the N8.6 trillion estimates he submitted to the Assembly on November 7, 2017.
The two chambers of the National Assembly passed the budget on May 16, six months after it was presented by the president.

Buhari expressed serious reservations over the treatment meted on the original budget proposal noting that the document had been ‘padded’ by the lawmakers. He said as follows:

“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.

“The provisions for some nationally/regionally strategic infrastructure projects were cut by an aggregate of 11.5 billion Naira. Provisions for some ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the FCT, Abuja especially major arterial roads and the mass transit rail project, were cut by a total of 7.5 billion Naira.

“The provision for Rehabilitation and Additional Security Measures for the United Nations Building by the FCT, Abuja was cut by 3.9 billion Naira from 4 billion Naira to 100 million Naira; this will make it impossible for the Federal Government of Nigeria to fulfill its commitment to the United Nations on this project.

“The provisions for various Strategic Interventions in the health sector were cut by an aggregate amount of 7.45 billion Naira.

“The provision for security infrastructure in the 104 Unity Schools across the country were cut by 3 billion Naira at a time when securing our students against acts of terrorism ought to be a major concern of government.
“The provision for the Federal Government’s National Housing Programme was cut by 8.7 billion Naira.

“At a time when we are working with Labour to address compensation-related issues, a total of 5 billion Naira was cut from the provisions for Pension Redemption Fund and Public Service Wage Adjustment.

“The provisions for Export Expansion Grant (EEG) and Special Economic Zones/Industrial Parks were cut by a total of 14.5 billion Naira.

“The provision for Construction of the Terminal Building at Enugu Airport was cut from 2 billion Naira to 500 million Naira which will further delay the completion of this critical project.

“The Take-off Grant for the Maritime University in Delta State, a key strategic initiative of the Federal Government, was cut from 5 billion Naira to 3.4 billion Naira,” he said.

The President said about seventy new road projects have been inserted into the budget of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

“In doing so, the National Assembly applied some of the additional funds expected from the upward review of the oil price benchmark to the Ministry’s vote. Regrettably, however, in order to make provision for some of the new roads, the amounts allocated to some strategic major roads have been cut by the National Assembly,”

However, in a quick reaction, the lawmakers through Bala Na’ Allah, the deputy leader of the Senate who represented Senate President Bukola Saraki, and the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, who represented Speaker Yakubu Dogara, said the lawmakers had no option than to tinker with the budget estimates.

Mr Na’ Allah said their job as parliamentarians is a difficult one.
“The way the budget came, if we had allowed it to go that way, we would have been in trouble with those who elected us,” the lawmaker told journalists after the budget signing ceremony.
The senator also said they decided to alter the budget in order “to balance between the six geo political zones” across the country.

He said it is the “balancing efforts” by the National Assembly that led to the observations raised by Mr Buhari.

On his part, Mr Doguwa said “certainly you wouldn’t expect us to just rubber stamp and just bring it back. We have to do the nitty-gritty of budget consideration.”

Politics

Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, accuses DRC of supporting rebels fighting his government

Published

on

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has accused the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), of giving arms and logistic support to rebels fighting his government after the DRC has continued to blame Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebels who have been causing mayhem in the mineral rich eastern Congo.

In a televised address on Monday, Kagame said his country is seriously concerned by the support the DRC has been giving to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a Congo-based rebel group that has been opposed to his government.

The two eastern African neighbours have been locked in an acrimonious relations with accusations and counter accusations flowing from both ends after the M23 group captured the Congolese town of Bunagana at the Uganda border with Kinshasa accusing the Rwandan troops of arming the militia.

Rwanda on it’s part, has vehemently denied supporting M23, and is now throwing its own accusation on DRC of supporting the rebels troubling its country.

While making the allegations, Kagame said Congo is actively arming the FDLR whose fighters are linked to the 2019 killing of hundreds of people in the northern Rwandan town of Kinigi.

“It’s on record and with facts that Congo is supporting FDLR, and unfortunately with the knowledge of MONUSCO,” Kagame said, fingering the U.N. peacekeepers who have been on ground to battle the rebels.

“They have recently been behaving like spoilt children. They cause trouble and then start crying foul,” Kagame said.

While the two countries have been grappling with the menace of rebels, leaders of the regional bloc under the East African Community have been working toward deploying a peacekeeping force in eastern Congo’s restive provinces, but both DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi, has kicked against the inclusion of Rwandan troops in the regional peacekeeping force.

Continue Reading

Politics

Tunisia President Saied dares opposition, defends new constitution despite criticism

Published

on

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has defended his proposed new constitution despite widespread criticism and protest by opposition figures, saying the the constitution when passed, would not restore authoritarian rule.

Most political parties and civil society groups have continued to oppose the constitution saying it was drawn up unilaterally by Saied’s allies whom he handpicked to do his bidding.

The critics have also questioned the legitimacy of the constitution with a referendum set for July 25 which they say would give Tunisians less than four weeks to decide on it with no minimum rate of participation for it to pass.

The head of the committee that prepared the first draft the constitution, Sadok Belaid, also criticised the version which Saied rewrote, saying the president’s version was “dangerous and paves the way for a disgraceful dictatorial regime.”

But while hitting back at the opposition and the wave of criticism that followed the publication of the draft in the Tunisian National Gazzete, Saied on Tuesday, urged the people to support it in the referendum to adopt the constitution.

In a letter addressed to Tunisian and published by state, Saied assured that fears by those against the new constitution are misplaced as there was no danger to Tunisians’ rights and freedoms.

“Everyone knows what Tunisia has suffered for decades, especially the last decade. They emptied state coffers. The poor got poorer, the corrupt got richer,” Said narrated, while accusing critics of the constitution of “slanders, far from reality”.

Saied entered the bad books of most opposition figures in the North African country when he ousted the elected parliament and set out to rule by decree which many had termed a coup.

He further angered many by dissolving the electoral commission and named a new body with himself as the head. Not done, Saied also sacked 57 judges last month, accusing them of supporting Islamists.

But his supporters say he is “standing up to elite forces whose bungling and corruption have condemned Tunisia to a decade of political paralysis and economic stagnation.”

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

Metro5 hours ago

Terrorists attack Nigerian Correctional Service Centre, release dangerous criminals

A premium Correctional Service Center, the Kuje Medium Prison, in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja, came under severe attack by heavily...

Metro5 hours ago

Terrorists attack President Buhari convoy in Salah home coming. Who is Safe?

The presidency in Nigeria has confirmed that bandit attacked the presidential convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday. Presidential Spokesman,...

Metro17 hours ago

Sudanese security forces descend on anti-coup protesters after military leader, al-Burhan’s promise

Eleven anti-coup protesters were seriously wounded when Sudanese security forces descended on a sit-in protest to disperse demonstrators in the...

Politics17 hours ago

Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, accuses DRC of supporting rebels fighting his government

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has accused the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), of giving arms and logistic support to...

VenturesNow18 hours ago

Zimbabwe continues battle to save currency, introduces gold coins as legal tender. Will that work?

South African country, Zimbabwe has continued its battle at fighting inflation as its central bank will start issuing gold coins...

Metro19 hours ago

Explosion kills 2 United Nations peacekeepers in Mali

The explosion of an improvised device has killed at least two United Nations peacekeepers and five severely wounded in northern...

Metro22 hours ago

Rare humanitarian window by Ethiopia allows aid into war-ravaged Tigray region

A rare humanitarian window created by Ethiopia has allowed aid to flow into the embattled Northern Ethiopian region of Tigray...

Politics1 day ago

Tunisia President Saied dares opposition, defends new constitution despite criticism

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has defended his proposed new constitution despite widespread criticism and protest by opposition figures, saying the...

Politics1 day ago

Sudan’s junta leader, General al-Burhan, promises to withdraw army from civilian government

Leader of Sudan’s military junta, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has promised he will withdraw the army from further participating in...

Metro1 day ago

Nearly €20 million in contention as Chad arrests top oil sector, banking officials

An investigation into embezzlement at the national oil company in Chad has led to the arrest of a group of...

Trending