- N3.9 billion Villa maintenance
- N4 billion for Aso Rock clinic
- N89 million for Canteen/kitchen equipment
- N15 billion security vote
- …and more vexatious items
The 2016 budget presented and re-presented by President Muhammadu Buhari contains some mind-boggling provisions similar to the era of wasteful Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
From indefensible items to laughable figures that can only be concocted by unpatriotic elements in this era of economic woes, the budget is a far-cry from the expectations of conscientious citizens who expect belt-tightening to begin from our political leaders.
From N3.9 billion as annual maintenance of Aso Rock Villa facilities, N4 billion for Aso Rock clinic, N89 million for canteen/kitchen equipment, to N15 billion security vote, many vexatious items were paraded in 2016 budget which drew the ire of legions of compatriots.
The budget, set to be debated by the National Assembly, failed the first test by concerned observers who labeled many of the wasteful provisions as not only ill-timed but out of tune with the persona of President Buhari and the change expected by his government.
Many observers wondered how the government could have assumed that the 2016 budget would not have been lampooned on account of the unrealistic and crooked figures assigned against many purchases.
“This government is still carrying on as if we are in the era of wasteful Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and PDP”, one analyst volunteered. “And to think that the price of oil has fallen below $28, this budget cannot pass any test of common sense and propriety.
“Who buys kitchen equipment every year? Only thieves and thugs! Do you destroy your kitchen at the end of each year? Break the plates and pots, smash the cookers and ovens, table tops and cabinets?” another activist asked.
“How much does it cost to build a world class hospital, not clinic, with modern gadgets, first class personnel and facilities? Certainly not N4 billion! Aso Rock clinic which none of our leaders use (they usually go abroad for minor ailments), cannot certainly cost N4 billion”, moaned an angry source.
“Do serious companies buy cars every year?” demanded a business man. “Vehicles are supposed to be bought every four years, unless you are spending recklessly from a bottomless purse. The vehicles are not even made in Nigeria. The investors encouraged to assemble vehicles in Nigeria are not patronized by the Presidency or even the National Assembly or any government agency. How will the companies survive?”
“Check some of the items”, an economist stated, “and it is clear that we are still in the same era of wasteful leaders who actually don’t care about Nigeria or Nigerians”.
“In the last 17 years of this Fourth Republic (which began in 1999), at no time was the capital expenditure more than 30 per cent with recurrent at 70 percent”, a legislator argued. “How can the nation grow with these lopsided figures. The N6.08 trillion budget has recurrent of N4.28 trillion and capital of N1.8 trillion.
“The people in government, civil servants and less than 10 percent of the population will spend 70 percent of our resources on themselves.
“And 90 percent of Nigerians will have only 30 percent of the resources on infrastructure and projects that should improve their lives. It is a joke no one should laugh at because it is not funny.”
Another insider analyzed, “N39 billion will be used in running Office of the President! N1.4 billion on travels by Presidency, N27.5 billion on computers in State House, N764.7 billion on recreational activities in Aso Rock and wild life conservation, N326 million.