CSO picks holes in Fed Govt’s budget

By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The Centre for Social Justice and Citizens Wealth Platform has picked holes in the N13.08 trillion budget for 2021 presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly last month.

It said the budget estimates are “suffused with unclear expenditures”, describing some of the line items on the budget as “frivolous, inappropriate, unclear and wasteful.”

The organisation said it identified frivolous line items totalling N325, 334, 458, 139 in the 2021 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.

The Executive Director, Eze Onyekpere, speaking at a news briefing to present the analysis of the centre on the budget, said with a deficit of N5.196trillion and N4.2trillion in new borrowing, the 2021 budget estimates continue the trajectory of borrowing for wasteful expenditure.

“We were able to point out the total of N325, 334, 458, 139. All we did was to bring the highlights of the frivolous expenditures.

“Essentially, we are proposing to spend borrowed money on frivolities, inappropriate and wasteful expenditure,” he stated.

Onyekpere asked the National Assembly to remove the wasteful expenditure and reduce frivolities in the budget.

“The National Assembly is therefore requested to ask questions and right the wrongs, remove the wasteful expenditure, reduce frivolities, ask for the details of these lumped activities and make the same available to Nigerians and publish the details of statutory transfers.”