As the winds of austerity blows, Nigerians eagerly await the 2016 Budget Approval
February brings with it arguably the most celebrated day of love, Valentines, but that love might not be extended to the federal government of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as many Nigerians are soured at the current state of affairs.
February 15, counts 262 days i.e. 10 months since a new government came into power for Africa’s most populous nation, 10 months, that many argue hasn’t transpired to “change”.
The current increase in electricity tariffs [45%], a possible increase in VAT, declining oil prices, the exchange rate of the naira on the forex and most importantly, the 2016 budget that is yet to be approved, has the masses wondering where the country is heading.
We present to you a timeline of some events shaping Nigerians reactions and Buhari’s tenure: –
- May, 2015 – President Muhammadu Buhari became Nigeria’s 6th elected Head of State
- November, 2015 – President Buhari announces list of Ministers , with Ministers of State to make up remaining portfolios
- December, 2015 – Barely a month after Ministers resume leadership positions at ministries, President Buhari submits 2016 Appropriation Bill
- January, 2016 – #MissingBudget; President Buhari submits corrected 2016 budget
- January/February 2016 – Controversies arise following 2016 Budget approval as Ministers cannot defend the budget e.g. Health Budget
- February, 2016 – Senate President, Bukola Saraki Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] trial resumes after Supreme Court dismisses it [Opinions are that the head of the National Assembly might be too embroiled in his matters to attend to that of the State]
Well, it is necessary to note and give credit to the National Assembly for spotting errors in Nigeria’s 2016 budget as seen below:
- Lai Mohammed, Minister for Culture flatly rejected any knowledge of N368 Million in the budget item of the Ministry of Information for the procurement of computers;
- Ministry of Solid Minerals To Update Website With N795 Million;
funny [well suspicious] figures most Nigerians will be watching to see if they get approved include: –
- The State House Rent – N30.8 million [is the Aso Rock for rent?]
- Office Furniture for Ministry of Power, Works & Housing HQ – N1.2 billion
- Purchase of Photocopying Machine by APCON – N6.5 million
Whether it’s the revised version, Minister’s version or Budget Mafia’s version that is finally approved, we do hope for immediate action as many local communities who most likely would not read this post live in abject poverty. Families are living a hand to mouth existence, with no electricity, water, nor adequate health facilities.