Abuja - The Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) supports President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to return the 2016 Budget to the National Assembly and not to assent to it until the lawmakers restored the removed portions.
Rivers APC Chairman, Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, argued that the lawmakers erred in removing what the party described as critical aspects of the 2016 Appropriation Bill.
“What National Assembly submitted to the Presidency on (last) Thursday was unacceptable,” said Ikanya.
“We are shocked to read in the papers about the removal of some of the critical portions of the 2016 Budget by the National Assembly.”
Among these portions include the Coastal Railway project being jointly funded by Nigeria and China, for which a counterpart funding of N60 billion was provided but which was completely removed by the National Assembly.
Also read: Senate asks Amaechi to apologise or resign over budget controversy
“While the Lagos – Kano provision was left untouched, the Calabar – Lagos line was inexplicably removed by the lawmakers,” said Ikanya.
In addition, Ikanya said, the amount proposed for the completion of the Idu – Kaduna rail project, which has reached an advanced stage was reduced by N8.7 billionn, a development he said will make it difficult for the project to be completed.
“In addition, while the Executive had provided for the completion of all major road projects across the country, the National Assembly reduced the amounts provided and instead included new roads which studies have not even been conducted,” said Ikanya
“As if that is not enough, in the health sector, proposals made for the purchase of essential drugs for major health campaigns like Polio and AIDs for which the store is fast depleting were removed and the amounts allocated to provision of ambulance, which the ministry did not ask for.”
“We wish to emphasise that this unholy act by NASS is unacceptable because these are some of the key projects with which the present administration can positively impact on the country’s economy and meaningfully touch the lives of the generality of Nigerians,” added Ikanya.
It is understood Buhari had wished to sign the budget before embarking on his official trip to China earlier on Sunday.
“We, therefore, appeal to our distinguished lawmakers to correct the errors in the budget and resend to the Presidency in good enough time for President Buhari to sign shortly after he returns from China,” Ikanya said.
- CAJ News