Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs has spoken over alleged ‘ghost allocations’ by Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
He insisted that Fashola’s N20 billion contingency fund was questionable and that it was rejected by the National Assembly because the figure was too high.
“When the minister was asked about the N20 billion allocations, he did not deny it. He simply explained that it was for the purpose of planning. My quarrel is that even if you have a contingency plan, N20 billion is a huge amount”, he told Sun.
“The Second Niger Bridge alone has a budget estimate of about N12 billion, why would anybody have N20 billion for contingency? If every ministry in the country will have N20 billion for contingency alone, then the budget of the country will be exhausted on contingencies.
“Then he has the issue of N17 billion for Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) for Mambilla plateau power project. N17 billion not million, it is too much. There is nothing personal here; it is just injustice to the budget itself to have those amounts approved.We have made valid observations to Fashola’s presentation and he agreed to them.
“He should be humble enough to admit it instead of trying to paint the National Assembly black in the eyes of the public. Tomorrow, he might find himself in the National Assembly and the negative image he has been trying to create for the lawmakers might become his.
“We have introduced for the first time, public hearings for the purpose of allowing members of the public to have inputs into the budget. People come to give us their opinion about the budget, we deserve some credit”.