Recession: Reps members urge Buhari to fully implement 2016 budget

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Members of the House of Representatives have urged President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team to accelerate the implementation of the 2016 budget.

House-of-Reps-600x450They also advised the President to expedite action on the presentation of the 2017 budget projections to avoid delay in its passage.

A cross section of lawmakers who spoke in separate interviews in Abuja on Friday noted that the implementation of the 2016 budget was integral to taking Nigeria out of its present recession.

They explained that the executive cannot shy away from releasing capital votes to its Ministries, Agencies and Departments if it is serious about revamping the economy.

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There also seems to be a consensus across party lines on the need for the executive to submit the 2017 budget without further delay.

Golu Timothy (PDP, Plateau) said, “You would expect that by now, the executive would have released funds so that it would stimulate the economy out of recession.

“Money should have been made available for the much talked about conditional funds transfer and so on. Take for example the school feeding programme and the conditional cash transfer, which we are yet to see the blueprint on how they intend to implement it.

“You talk about feeding school children when schools lack basic infrastructure, children trek to school on bare foot and receive instructions sitting on bare floors while they eat chicken and eggs in the same school where teachers have not been paid salaries.”

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Speaking in a similar vein, Adamu Kamale (PDP, Adamawa) said lawmakers expect the executive to “expedite action on the implementation of the 2016 budget so that the economic recession Nigeria is facing can be minimised”.

Sadiq Ibrahim (APC- Adamawa) said, “We have to look at what was budgeted in 2016 and the level of implementation. This is September; we have done three months or so since the passage of the budget.”

Also speaking on the issue, Tata Omar (APC Bauchi) said, “We can only talk about the performance of the budget when we receive presentations from the various ministries and how much has been released for capital budget, which I think is less than 30 per cent.

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“A lot of work still has to be done and we expect the 2017 projections to come early enough.

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