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Reps Explain Redistribution Of N6.06trn Budget To Sectors

Abdulmumin Jibrin, chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, on Sunday gave vivid account of how the N6.06 trillion approved by the National Assembly was redistributed to various sectors of the economy.

Jibrin stated this while responding to the media report on the alleged removal of the Lagos-Calabar rail project.

He argued that the project was not part of the N6.077 trillion budget proposal transmitted by the Presidency to the Legislature.

He said: “The Lagos-Calabar Rail was never included. How could National Assembly have removed what was not there? The nation is being misled.

“All they and those spreading the false information needed to have done is check the initial document sent by the Executive.

“Executive seems to favour a top-down approach. But this is not enough reason to mislead Nigerians on the role of National Assembly on the budget.

“This is unfortunate as it is quite clear to all and sundry that Budget 2016 and all its headaches and controversies didn’t emanate from National Assembly.

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“The crux of the matter as it is, is that the National Assembly believes in the bottom up agenda for development – focus on rural areas and communities.

“Not to mention the fact that the Executive has not come out to disown the false reports flying around.”

In the bid to address various posers on the budget, Jibrin assured Nigerians that National Assembly “will come up with a comprehensive position especially with respect to our observation of the budget and what we did to make it better.

On how the budget was redistributed to critical sectors, Jibrin said: “What National Assembly did with the N54 billion (is that) we added N39.7 billion to the Lagos-Kano rail project. This will help complete the project once and for all. That N50 billion be set aside as special bursary for students of tertiary institutions.

“We also suggested N100 billion be taken out of N500 billion set aside as Special Intervention Fund.

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“We also had Special Programmes for Women Empowerment and the payment of debt owed local contractors.

“The Rural Community Light project to light up 100 communities spread across the 774 Local Governments.

“Some of our other inputs include Special Intervention for Rural Agriculture, Payment of Pension Arrears and Rural Community Light project.

“About 95% of the input of National Assembly which would have given life to the policy thrust of Mr. President was discarded by the Executive. There is a lot more to be said about this and they will be said in the coming days,” he added.