Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, has called for the removal of hundreds of projects worth 512.356 billion naira from the 2024 Appropriation Bill being considered by both chambers of the National Assembly.
The report, titled ‘Frivolous, Inappropriate, Unclear and Wasteful Estimates in the 2024 Federal Appropriation Bill’ has been sent to the offices of the 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives.
In the analysis of the items tagged ‘non-priority projects’, the organisation recommended the removal of 10 projects worth 22.313 billion naira from the State House and that of the vice president Onyekpere explained that the removal of these line items will also enable the country to save 3.5 billion naira.
The items include the construction of office complex for Special Advisers and Senior Special Advisers; 3.5 billion naira for the acquisition, renovation, rehabilitation, and furnishing of the State House annex; 8.280 billion naira for the annual routine maintenance of mechanical and electrical installations of the Villa; 4 billion naira for the purchase of State House operational vehicles; and 2 billion naira for the replacement of SUV vehicles.
Also recommended for removal are some budget items under the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, namely: 5 billion naira for the renovation of Dodan Barracks Presidential Lodge; 10 billion naira for the full digitalization of the entire State House and Lagos State offices and Quarters.
According to the organisation, a total sum of 3.340 billion naira is to be saved under the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning; 10.250 billion naira for Presidential Air Fleet out of the total sum of 20.5 billion naira proposed in the budget.
The organisation further called for saving 358.511 billion naira through the servicewide vote proposal; 10 billion naira through the proposed for the Intervention fund under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation alongside other proposals.
The Centre for Social Justice while lamenting the meagre resources allocated to the Federal Ministry of Works noted that the allocation have been “so thinly spread across hundreds of projects to the extent that money will be spent without any concrete improvements in the works sector”.
It says that in the face of dwindling revenue and the country’s current economic situation, efforts must be made to ensure prudence in budgetary allocations.
Editor: Oloyede Oworu