Leading Nigerian civic and advocacy organisation, BudgIT, yesterday revealed that more than 316 capital projects were duplicated in Nigeria’s 2021 national budget. Analysts at BudgIT also uncovered other loopholes in the 2021 budget which we shall be looking at soon. In the meantime, Nigerians have understandably gone on a Twitter rampage following the revelation.
What BudgIT Found
According to a press statement that was released by BudgIT, the more that 316 duplicated capital projects are valued at over N39.5 billion. 115 of these projects are supposedly happening in the Ministry of Health. BudgIT noted that this is very unfortunate considering the deplorable state of the Nigerian healthcare system which has been worsened by the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic. That money earmarked for the duplicated projects could have been put into solving other tangible problems.
BudgIT also revealed that government agencies are now receiving monetary allocations for projects which they cannot execute. Examples were given of National Agriculture Seed Council which received N400 million to construct solar street lights across the geopolitical zones in the country, and the Federal College of Forestry in Ibadan which received N50 million for the construction of street lights in Edo State.
Another anomaly discovered in the 2021 national budget is the absolute lack of audit for the over N10.02 trillion that has been spent on security between 2015 and 2021. As the CEO of BudgIT Gabriel Okeowo noted, 2021 has been a horrible year for most Nigerians as far as security is concerned. This is despite the billions of naira that has been budgeted for security. Unfortunately, the more money spent on security the lesser the amount budgeted for other needful projects. Therefore, there should be more scrutiny and accountability as to how the security budgets are being spent.
“2021 has been a horrifying year for Nigerians concerning security – as the country combats mutating forms of crime and terror – across all its 36 states. This is despite allocating over N10.02tn to security between 2015 and 2021. In the 2021 budget, the entire security sector’s allocation was N1.97tn, representing a 14% increase from the N1.78tn allocated in 2020,” Okeowo was quoted to have said.
Nigerians Lambast the Government
Following these revelations, Nigerians went on a Twitter rampage. One Twitter user identified as Wole Oladapo basically chided the Buhari Administration for deceiving Nigerians over the years in the name of fighting corruption, when in actuality corruption is becoming the order of the day.
Fighting corruption means devising 'ingenious' ways of rechristening it. No responsible government fights corruption; it simply builds a system of accountability that blocks all blockable loopholes and punishes all infractions. Fighting corruption is the real corruption!
— Wole Oladapo (@lexydek) May 4, 2021
EDITOR’S NOTE: See other responses by following the BudgIT thread.
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