This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
NASS TAMPERING WITH BUDGET IS SABOTAGE, IMPUNITY
28th June 2017
TAMPERING WITH BUDGET IS SABOTAGE, IMPUNITY
National Assembly (NASS) reportedly reduced money allocated to some key
projects and reallocated the money to their own constituency projects.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
condemns this development in strong terms. It amounts to sabotage and an act of
impunity. It is outrageous. It is legislative terrorism.
We note in particular that although the budget was presented as
far back as December 14, 2016, NASS did not approve it until May 11, 2017 (six
months later). The budget of year 2000 was approved on January 20, 2000. That
of 2001 was approved in November 2000 while 2004 budget was approved in
November 2003. In 2013, the budget was approved on November 20 of the previous
six month delay in the 2017 budget is therefore curious. Such procrastination
further cements the suspicion in the minds of Nigerians that the NASS is out to
frustrate the good efforts of the present administration to make life more
abundant for the jamaheer (masses). It tantamounts to armtwisting the
executive. We recall the hostile
disposition of the NASS to the interests of the executive since the inception
of this administration. Nominees were rejected without tangible casus belli.
Nerves were frayed. It has been a cat and mouse game ab initio to date.
While we are not opposed to the idea of members of the NASS
pursuing their constituency projects, we find it disturbing that they will go
as far as reducing money allocated to key projects to meet this objective. It
should be the other way round if indeed members of the NASS have the interest
of Nigeria at heart.
It beats us hollow
to find lawmakers tampering with a project of momentous national significance
like the Lagos-Ibadan expressway knowing fully well that this is the only and
most important link road between the South West, the South East and the North. It
is shocking, unbelievable and nauseating.
unnerving is the reduction of money allocated to Bodo-Bonny road and
Kano-Maiduguri road. Considering the fact that these projects had suffered long
neglect by previous administration, we wonder if the NASS wants this
administration to perform at all. NASS seems more interested in portraying the
Federal Government as indolent as the immediate past administration.
By the way, isn’t the insertion of items
not under the exclusive or concurrent list interesting afterthoughts? Ministers
defended all the items listed under their ministries, who defends items
inserted by members of the NASS? Is it a committee of the NASS? How transparent
is such a process? Does it not look like rub my back I rub your back? How truly
accountable can that be? These insertions are very suspicious.
It is our considered opinion that NASS should make its
constituency projects or any such items public even before budget presentation
so that it would have been known to the executive as well as the general
public. Every member of the NASS who has a constituency project should also
defend it before a neutral committee set up by the NASS but made up of credible
Before rounding up, MURIC charges members of the civil society
to show keen interest in NASS’s constituency projects, particularly the items
inserted in the 2017 budget with a view to monitoring them and holding the
authors accountable at the appropriate time.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)