2018 Budget Cut: South East, Niger Delta Worst Hit | The Precision


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File photo: Second Niger Bridge under construction 

Details of the drastic inexplicable cuts in the capital projects earmarked by the Executive carried out by the National Assembly, which have infuriated President Muhammadu Buhari have emerged with indications that key projects in the South-East and the South-South were the worst hit by the lawmakers’ action.


Top on the list of projects in the South-East and the Niger Delta affected by the drastic cuts by the lawmakers, are the Second Niger Bridge, whose N10 billion allocation by the Presidency, was cut by the lawmakers to N9.197 billion, slashing off N 802,752,795 million. Similarly, the two billion naira allocation for the construction of terminal building at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, was drastically reduced to a paltry N530.8 million, cutting N1.5 billion off the project.

At the same time, in the nearby Niger Delta area, the sum of N5 billion earmarked by the Presidency as take-off grant for the National Maritime University Okerenkoko, was also slashed by N1.6 billion by the lawmakers, leaving a balance of N3.4 billion for the take off of the varsity. Again, the provisions for the completion of the East-West Road, which serves the South-East and South-South oil producing areas of the country, were significantly slashed raising concerns over the completion of the controversial road.
For instance, the N1 billion earmarked for the completion of the 99-kilometre stretch from Port Harcourt to Eket in Akwa Ibom State, was slashed to N700 million while the N2.7 billion meant for the 51-kilometre stretch from Eket to Oron all in Akwa Ibom State was reduced to N2.085 billion and the N3.5 billion set aside for the Oron to Calabar stretch was cut to N2 billion. 
It will be recalled that President Buhari had expressed dissatisfaction with the budget, saying that it will be difficult to implement it the way the lawmakers distorted his major provisions and introduced personal projects into it. The president said he was compelled to sign the budget but did not say who compelled him. (News Express) 

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