Rule Of Law Collective Deplores The 2014 Budget As Wasteful, Shortsighted And Extravagant

Published:20 Jan, 2014

 

 

1.The Rule of Law Collective is a civic platform comprising Nigerians from all walks of life who through debate, discourse and civic action seek to advance public service and accountable governance in Nigeria through the fair, non-discriminatory, and effective application of laws.

2. On December 19, 2014, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance laid the budget proposal for 2014 before the National Assembly on the basis of the authority duly delegated to her by President Goodluck Jonathan pursuant to Section 81 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

BUDGETARY STRATEGY & PRIORITIES

3.The budget proposal as presented contemplates estimated aggregate expenditure for the fiscal year in the sum of N4.6 Trillion. This figure comprises various expenditure components including, but not limited to, a recurrent (non-debt) expenditure  component in the total sum of  N 2.4 Trillion and a capital expenditure component in the total sum of N1.1 Trillion. The balance appears spilt between debt servicing of N.7Trillion and statutory transfer of N.4Trillion.

4. Whilst the Rule of Law Collective has no specific grouse with the total aggregate amount provided for expenditure in the budget, the Rule of Law Collective considers it imprudent and unwise that the total capital component of the budget is a mere 23.7% of aggregate total expenditure whilst the recurrent component of the budget is 76.3% of the aggregate total expenditure.  We believe that such a disparity skews the budget towards consumption at the expense of infrastructural investment.

5. Unfortunately, the absence of sufficient prudence or wisdom in the formulation of the budget does not end with the macro level distortion between capital and recurrent expenditure. Further analysis of specific items in the budget reveals that even at the micro level, the formulators and originators of some of the line items in the budget have surrendered the nation’s treasure to the dictates of waste and profligacy.

6. The Rule of Law Collective has identified particularly egregious elements in some of the line items in the budget. For illustrative purposes, selected estimates in the provisions for  healthcare are highlighted below:

(A)Construction of a VIP Wing at the State House Clinic: N705 Million

(B) Total Capital Budget for Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital: N328 Million

(C)          Total capital budget for University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital: N310 Million

(D) Total Capital Budget for NOMA Children Hospital, Sokoto: N 89 M

(E)Total capital budget for The Institute of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City: Nil

It is clear from the foregoing that to the formulators of the budget, the VIP Wing at the State House clinic is superior in terms of cost, priority and efficient allocation of resources to 2 teaching hospitals, a National Children’s Hospital and a Paediatric Research Institute combined. The Rule of Law Collective rejects such a formulation. To spend a disproportionate amount of our national resources on an already suitably kitted and exclusively resourced clinic which serves a tiny fraction of Nigerians at the State House is to say the least unnecessarily wasteful. The waste is more disconcerting if set against the negative reality that the VIPs who ordinarily would use the VIP wing at the clinic tend to or are known to travel abroad for the treatment of the slightest of ailments. We are therefore constrained to question the true motive and rationale behind this item in the budget as well as the rationale for allocating no money at all to the Institute of Child Health in Benin City. How can such a deliberate disregard of our children be justified or explained?

 

DEFENCE & NATIONAL SECURITY

7. The Rule of Law Collective is of the view that the Nigerian Armed Forces need to be sufficiently motivated and resourced to fulfil their mandate under the constitution. Our service men and women are  extensively engaged in providing aid to civil authority and are in a frontline role in the fight against insurgency and terrorism. It is understandable therefore that Nigerians expect the budget for the armed forces to reflect the current reality. Instead, the budget proposal rewards banditry and encourages militancy at the expense of the fighting men and women of the Nigerian military.

Set forth below are comparative figures from various elements of the budget associated with defense and national security:

(A)Stipends and Allowances to 30,000 Niger Delta Militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme: N23.6 Billion (twenty three billion, six hundred million Naira)

(B)Reintegration of Transformed Ex Militants: N35.4 Billion (Thirty Five Billion, Four Hundred Million Naira)

(C)Total Capital Budget for the Nigerian Army: N4.8 Billion (Four Billion, Eight Hundred Million Naira)

(D)Total Capital Budget for the Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Army, Navy and Air Force: N34.2 billion (Thirty Four Billion, Two Hundred Million Naira)

(E) Total capital budget for ALL Police formations and commands: N6 Billion (Six Billion Naira)

The Rule of Law Collective finds it incomprehensible that the stipends and allowances for 30,000 militants exceeds by more than double the cost of providing facilities and procuring kit and equipment as well as weapons and ammunition for the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force combined.

 

RE-CONSTRUCTION OF NORTH-EASTERN NIGERIA

More worrisome is that the cost of reintegrating ex-Niger Delta militants exceeds the combined capital expenditure of the three service arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces.  It is entirely unconscionable that whilst multilateral donors are deploying significant resources to address malnutrition, food shortage and capacity building in the North East geopolitical zone of the country, the formulators of our budget have provided a paltry N2 Billion to rebuild the North East where damage to property and lives remains inestimable.

 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BUDGETS

8. The Rule of Law Collective further views with utmost concern the allocations made to certain public institutions, departments and committees. As in the previous examples above, the overriding theme of these allocations is the absence of sufficient logic or deep thought in the budgeting process. Again, by way of illustration we have picked a few line items below:

(A) National Assembly:

(i) 150,000,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira); and

(ii) 100,000,000,000 (One Hundred Billion Naira) for Constituency Projects.

(B)Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF):

(i) Capital Budget for the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (on a stand-alone basis and excluding agencies under supervision): N6.3 Billion (Six Billion, Three Hundred Million) of which N2.1 Billion Naira is allocated to the rehabilitation and repair of the SGF’s new office building.

(ii)  Monetized (cash) Benefit to Gen Oladipo Diya: N200 million.

(C)Presidential Committee on Rehabilitation of Barracks: N1.8 billion (One Billion Eight Hundred Million Naira).

(D)Repair and Rehabilitation of Barracks for the Presidential Air Fleet personnel: N706 Million

(E)Capital Expenditure for the Presidential Air Fleet: N3.2 billion (Three Billion Two Hundred Million Naira)

(F)Foreign and Local Trips by the President and Vice President: N2.4 billion (Two Billion Four Hundred Million Naira).

(G)Total sum of provisions for wildlife and horses at the Presidential Villa: N53 Million.

The Rule of Law Collective finds it unjustifiable that the Presidential Air Fleet budget is approximately half of the budget for the entire Nigerian Air Force; we find it objectionable that the budget to rehabilitate barracks for personnel of the presidential air fleet is more than a third of the cost of rehabilitating all military barracks in the country and we find it reprehensible that over N53 Million of taxpayers’ money would be spent on keeping horses and wildlife at the Presidential Villa.

A country like Nigeria with its negative developmental indices cannot fritter away resources that are best conserved for national development. It is an affront to the sensibilities of the teeming poor in our country when a budget that smacks of profligacy and utter waste is tabled before the National Assembly to be passed into law in their name.

It is no longer in contention that low human capacity development and the lack of opportunities for young Nigerians under the age of 25 are major factors in the rise of terrorism, ethno sectarian killings, kidnapping and other violent ills that confront our frayed society.

This budget and the 1,820 pages in which it was written, in all likelihood, will go down in history as one of the worst budgets ever proposed. It represents a complete detachment from reality. It is a shame that this budget proposal was tabled under the watch of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. So much more was expected of her and it is disappointing that she has let this budget proposal proceed under her hand. The ultimate responsibility, though, must lie with President Goodluck Jonathan.

CAPTURE OF NATIONAL BUDGET BY ‘VIPs’

The Rule of Law Collective is deeply concerned that the National Assembly which ought to protect the interest of the larger Nigerian public appears to have become a witting or unwitting party to this bizarre budgetary bazaar. Nigerians will be hard pressed to see the justification behind the allocation of N250 Billion to the affairs of the National Assembly comprised of 109 Senators and 360 Representatives. On a per capita basis the cost of maintaining and servicing each member of the National Assembly stands in excess of N530 Million per member. This is beyond the pale in a country where one out of five children born today will die before their 5th birthday.

The Government has a responsibility to the people of Nigeria to promote the common good of all its citizens, especially the poor, the unemployed, its men and women in uniform as well as its children. A fair budget should seek to eliminate reckless fiscal planning and wasteful spending. Such a budget must adequately address education and healthcare for all citizens and address the short term and long term concerns around our national security. Regrettably, the 2014 budget proposal does not meet these threshold requirements.

We call on the National Assembly to thoroughly scrutinize the 2014 budgetary proposals and make appropriate adjustments before passing same into the 2014 Appropriation Act. Anything less will smack of condonation and collusion with an executive branch that, if based on this budget, is determined to lead Nigeria nowhere.

CONCLUSION

In this regard,

1. Sectoral allocation must reflect a focus on developmental expenditure – health, education, beneficial and forward looking infrastructure like economically critical roads and railways, enhancing power supply as well as agriculture and rural development;

2. The capital component of the budget must be increased to no less than 70% in line with the Finance Minister’s earlier commitment;

3. We hereby reject all white elephant projects, including but not limited to the new presidential jet & associated barracks, state house clinic expansion, rehabilitation of the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government to pick only a few.

4. When compared with the N12 billion budget for the State House (President, VP and their Staff) and N33 billion full budget for the Presidency, the lack of appreciation and regard for the critical role of the judiciary in national development is manifest in the meagre and inadequate sum of N68 billion Naira) budgeted as statutory transfer to the Judiciary for ALL costs (salaries, overhead, court maintenance etc).

The Rule of Law Collective thus rejects the 2014 budget in its comprehensive entirety.

Dated this 20th Day of January 2014

Rule of Law Collective

Contact: Ikeazor Akaraiwe

ikeazor@gmail.com

Ruleoflaw-nigeria@yahoogroups.com

ENDS/

Sources:

Para 6A : See page 7 of the 2014 FGN Budget Proposal as annexed to the 2014 Appropriation Bill (hereinafter referred to as the “FGN Proposal”)

Para 6B:  See page 1608 of the FGN Proposal

Para 6C: See page 1610 of the FGN Proposal

Para 6D: See page 1755 of the FGN Proposal

Para 6E: See page 1742 of the FGN Proposal

Para 7A: See Page 5 of Part C to the Schedule of the 2014 Appropriation Bill

Para 7B: Supra

Para 7C: See page 44 of the FGN Proposal

Para 7D: See page 38 of the FGN Proposal

Para 7E: See page 474 of the FGN Proposal

Para 8A: (i) See page 2 of Part A to the Schedule of the 2014 Appropriation Bill

(ii) See page 36 of the FGN Proposal

Para 8B: (i) See page 429 of the FGN Proposal

(ii) See page 432 of the FGN Proposal

Para 8C: See page 68 of the FGN Proposal

Para 8D: See page 418 of the FGN Proposal

Para 8E: See page 419 of the FGN Proposal

Para 8F: See page 9 of the FGN Proposal

Para 8G: See pages 6 – 7 of the FGN Proposal

  • Lai Abode

    What are this people saying? Did they listen to the finance minister’s speech today where she did a breakdown of the budget?

  • waziri abba ismail

    Frm mere point of view GEJ has no feelings for the masses & pretends to v no sympathy or whatsoever towards d masses’s woes he inflicted on em @ d moment! The budget is as gud as promotin millitancy & weakenin of the entire security agencies & personal compared to what is normally seen allocated in other projected countries of the world! GEJ administration is a failed one as well as his Nigerian project…,

  • http://297286.com/ ??SEO??

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Richard Tayo: Stellar Hypocrisy On Show: Letter To Senator Ben Murray Bruce

I am particularly compelled to write you this letter sir knowing that the Senate is currently riddled with plethora of controversies that your 'Common Sense' campaign is yet to address. Your 'Common Sense' crusade have addressed almost every prevailing situations in this country save that of the Senate. Reason I can't just help but remind you of the stellar height you have taken hypocrisy to. Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground....

Rahaman Onike: Saraki And His Running Battle

The latest disclosure by the embattled senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki that his current travail was a price he has to pay for opposing muslim-muslim ticket when APC as the ruling party was to decide its presidential/vice-presidential candidates sounds  like a belated excuse. Assuming he has raised the allegation ab initio probably it might have received greater public sympathy. The media boost given to the assertion notwithstanding, many Nigerian still find it difficult to believe his untoward...

Zayyad I. Muhammad: The Youths in the Boko Haram Conflict Region

There are quite a number of young people in the Lake Chad region (Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad)...

Olawale Rotimi: Violence in Nigeria; Causes, Effects And Solutions

Violence in Nigeria in its various forms has evolved over the decades; from use of traditional weapons, charms and hamlets, violence in Nigeria has taken sophisticated dimension. Political, electoral, religious, ethnic/tribal, cultism and other forms of violence are dominant in the Nigerian society, at varying degrees. Each region in Nigeria has its peculiar form of violence; in northern Nigeria, religious violence and extremist attacks is peculiar, in the South-South, militancy is popular and like...

Liam Hemsworth Takes Miley Cyrus To Lunch With His Parents

Miley Cyrus was pictured spending some quality time with boyfriend Liam Hemsworth & his family. The couple was seen walking together as they arrived to meet with his family in a restaurant in Byron Bay, Australia. After the lunch, she joined Liam's sister-in-law/Thor star Chris Hemsworth's wife, Elsa Pataky for a shopping trip. See more photos below...

Father Beats His 17yr Old Son Silly In Boxing Match As Punishment For Skipping School

An unnamed American father has come up with a form of 'discipline' most parents will be hesitant to apply. A video posted to Facebook shows the father challenging his teenage son to a fight after learning that the lad walked out of lessons without telling him. He then proceeds to pummel the precocious young man leaving him a bloody, sobbing mess. The video has gone viral garnering nearly 1.5million views.

Colombia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

A top court in Colombia has officially legalized same-sex marriage in the country. Same sex couples who were already allowed to form civil partnerships, are now permitted to get married just like other heterosexual couples.  This new law places Colombia as the fourth country in Latin America to legalize same sex marriages. Argentina was the first Latin American country to take the step in July 2010 before Brazil and Uruguay followed suit.

Prince’s Sister Tyka ‘Walks Out Of Meeting As Family Gather To Discuss Estate’

Prince's sister Tyka reportedly stormed out of a meeting as the family gathered to discuss the late singer's £200million estate. Prince passed away last week without a will and a bank has now been appointed to manage his assets. It is thought the Purple Rain superstar's fortune will be divided between his sister Tyka and half-siblings John, Norrine, Sharon, Alfred and Omarr. US gossip site, TMZ reports that Tyka met with Alfred and Omarr in Minnesota on Thursday. After...

Navy Declares Suspected Pirate, Charles Parker, Wanted For Alleged Hijack Of Oil Vessel

The Nigerian Navy has declared one Charles Ekpemefumor, also known as Charles Parker, wanted for alleged hijack of MT MAXIMUS off Cote d’Ivoire waters on Feb. 11, 2016. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the Director of Navy Information, Commodore Christian Ezekobe. It said investigation so far conducted by Navy operatives had identified Charles Parker as the mastermind of the hijack of the vessel. It said the notice became necessary following Parker’s refusal to honour an...

Death Of Doctors, Blow To Healthcare Delivery – Ngige

Sen. Chris Ngige ,the Minister of Labour and Employment, on Thursday in Abuja described the death of six medical doctors on Kaduna –Abuja road as a blow to heath service delivery in Nigeria. The message is contained in a statement signed by Mr Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment. The statement said that Ngige expressed his heartfelt condolences to the president and members of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) over the loss. ``I received with great shock the news...

PDP NEC Zones Party’s Chairmanship To North-East

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) has zoned the party’s chairmanship position to the North-East geo-political zone. The National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the NEC meeting held at the party national secretariat. Sheriff said that the NEC received the report of the Zoning Committee presented by its Chairman, Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom. He said that the committee’s zoning recommendation was unanimously...

FG To Build Hostels For IDPs In 24 States

Mr Ifiok Abia, member of the Presidential Flood Relief Rehabilitation Committee, said the Federal Government will build hostels for Internally Displayed Persons (IDPs), in 24 states affected by floods. Abia made this known while presenting relief materials to flood victims in Akwa Ibom in Uyo on Thursday. According to him, the Federal Government will also build 10 solar-powered boreholes for the IDPs. ``Already, work has begun on some of the boreholes in some states while some have even been completed'', he said. . Abia...

Senate Invites Security Chiefs For Update On Fleeing Terrorists In North East

The Senate has invited the country's security chiefs to brief it on the activities of fleeing terrorists in the North East to prevent the spread of terrorism. The summon followed a motion by Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) on the recent attack on Nimbo Community in Enugu State by persons suspected to be herdsmen. Sen. Utazi who relied on a point of order to make the matter an issue of public concern, prayed the Senate to approve his seven-prayer motion.   "There...

Ekiti NMA Buries Three More Doctors, Driver Amidst Tears

Emotion ran high on Thursday during the commendation/funeral service for three more medical doctors from Ekiti State and their driver at the Nigerian Medical Association’s secretariat on Ado-Iyin road. The four were among six doctors and a driver that died on Sunday along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway on their way to the Annual Delegates Meeting of the NMA in Sokoto. Those given the last honour were the late Dr. Atolani Adeniyi, Senior Health Officer with the Ekiti Hospitals Management Board; the late Dr....

N23bn Bribe: EFCC To Arrest More INEC Officers, Bankers

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to arrest more officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and election monitors that received various bribes in the N23bn funds from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The PUNCH had reported on Thursday that the EFCC had arrested the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, for handling $115m for Diezani in the build-up to the presidential election. Okonkwo was alleged to have helped in...

Jonathan Shared Ecological Funds To PDP Govs – Oshiomhole

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of favouring state governors elected on the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, during his regime. He specifically accused the former President of doling out N2bn from the Ecological Fund to each of the PDP governors without considering giving same to governors of the All Progressives Congress. Oshiomhole made the allegation while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting state governors had with President...

BoT Members, Others Shun PDP NEC Meeting

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party became more visible on Thursday as majority members of its Board of Trustees, National Caucus and others stayed away from its National Executive Committee meeting which was held in Abuja. BoT members and others were said to have been angered by the decision of the national leadership of the party to hold NEC meeting without following due process. Traditionally, NEC meeting is held after both the BoT and the National Caucus of the party...

Buhari’s Reactions To Herdsmen Killings Shocking – Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for his reaction to increasing attacks and killings by herdsmen in several states in the country. Soyinka in an address to the National Conference on Culture and Tourism on Wednesday said he was shocked by the President’s claim that the attacks would soon be over. He added that comments made by the President and the government fell short of expectation and did not provide any reassurance for Nigerians.

Bayelsa Speaker Bows To Pressure, Swears In Opposition Lawmakers

At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, on Thursday, bowed to pressure and swore in the three opposition lawmakers after about four months in limbo. The three lawmakers inaugurated at the hallowed chamber of the House are Watson Belemote of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, representing Brass Constituency 2; Gibson Munalayefa of the Labour Party for Ogbia Constituency 2 and Gabriel Ogbara of African Democratic Congress for Ogbia Constituency 3. At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State...

NYSC To Deploy Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses To IDP Camps Nationwide – DG

The National Youth Service Corps is to deploy medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals to Internally Displaced Persons camps nationwide. The Director General of NYSC, Brig-Gen. Sule Kazaure, made this known on Thursday while flagging-off the NYSC intervention programme at Damare IDPs camp in Yola. Kazaure said the deployment of NYSC in the camps was part of the scheme’s contribution to government’s efforts in assisting the IDPs. “This programme, which is designed to bring succour to the inmates in this...

Abacha Loot: World Bank Asks For More Time

The World Bank Access to Information Committee has asked for more time to decide on a request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Lagos, on how the recovered Abacha loot was spent.   Mr Olukayode Majekodunmi, the Deputy Director of SERAP, said in a statement on Thursday that the World bank had requested for additional time to respond to SERAP'S request.   The statement said SERAP received a letter dated April 27 form the World Bank requesting for additional time on...