Buhari asks the National Assembly to remove the N888bn projects inserted in the 2022 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the National Assembly to remove N887.99 billion projects inserted in the 2022 budget. The president, who identified more than 130 projects in the budget that should be eliminated, also questioned the legislators for including their own expenses (for projects worth 16 billion) in the Executive’s budget. This, he said, denies the principles of separation of powers and financial autonomy of the Legislative Assembly. Mr. Buhari’s request was contained in a letter to the National Assembly seeking amendments to the 2022 Appropriation Act, where he also asked lawmakers to approve N2.55 trillion to fund the subsidy in 2022. The letter was read at the beginning of the plenary both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. Buhari’s request to the National Assembly comes about two months after he called them out for making worrying changes to the 2022 budget. Some of the changes, he noted, are the increase of 400 billion naira in the ‘independent income’ projected by the federal government; for which, he said he, the justification has not yet been given. queries In the letter, the president said it was imperative to remove all capital projects that were replicated in the 2022 Appropriations Act. It identified 139 of the 254 projects in the budget totaling N13.24 billion to be eliminated. He also emphasized the need to reinstate four N1.4 billion capital projects in the Executive Proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; and N22.0 billion cut from the provision for the Sinking Fund to withdraw overdue loans needed to meet the government’s obligations under bonds already issued. He explained that N106.1 billion has been earmarked for capital spending and N43.8 billion for recurrent spending and then asked legislators to leave room for amendments by removing the inserted projects. “Therefore, I request the National Assembly to make the above amendments without increasing the budget deficit. “I urge you to reverse some of the N887.99 billion projects previously inserted into the budget by the National Assembly to accommodate these amendments,” part of the letter read. Mr. Buhari also called on lawmakers to reinstate provisions made for several key capital projects in the 2022 Executive Proposal that were cut by the National Assembly. This, he said, is to ensure that critical ongoing projects that are cardinal to this administration, and those nearing completion, do not suffer a setback due to reduced funding. “It is equally important to restore the cut of N25.81 billion of the provision for the Electricity Sector Reform Program to fulfill the commitment of the Federal Government under the financing plan agreed with the World Bank. “In addition, it is necessary to reinstate the four capital projects totaling N1.42 billion in the Executive Proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources that were eliminated in the 2022 Appropriation Law. “Furthermore, there is a critical and urgent need to restore the N3 billion cut from the provision made for payment of mostly long outstanding debts and other local contractor liabilities as part of our strategy to revive the economy and stimulate growth. “You will agree with me that the inclusion of the National Assembly’s expenses in the Executive’s budget denies the principles of separation of powers and financial autonomy of the legislature. Therefore, it is necessary to transfer the expenses of the National Assembly worth N16.59 billion in the provision of Broad Vote Statutory Transfer of Service to the National Assembly.” More inquiries Lawmakers were also asked to reinstate the N22 billion cut from the provision for the Sinking Fund to retire overdue loans to ensure the government can meet its obligations under already issued bonds as they come due. Mr. Buhari asked the National Assembly to cut the recurrent cost provisions of the Nigerian Foreign Missions, which he said, “already limited, they are capable of causing serious embarrassment to the country, as they mainly relate to offices and residential rentals. “Similarly, reductions in provisions for allowances payable to personnel of the Nigerian Navy and Police Formations and Commandos could create serious problems for the government. Therefore, it is imperative that these provisions be reinstated as proposed. “It is also absolutely necessary to eliminate the entire capital project that is replicated in the 2022 Appropriation Law; 139 of the 254 such projects totaling N13.24 billion have been identified for removal from the budget.” advertisements In the budgets of the Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of the Government of the Federation and Headquarters of the Civil Service of the Federation, some significant projects were introduced and outside the mandate, denounced the president. He also said that there are several other projects that have been included by the National Assembly in the budgets of agencies that are outside their mandate areas. In this regard, he ordered the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to work with the relevant committees to comprehensively identify and realign all those misplaced projects. Lawmakers are expected to consider the president’s proposed amendments on another legislative day. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Buhari asks the National Assembly to remove the N888bn projects inserted in the 2022 budget