In the revised federal budget which was forwarded to the Nigerian Assembly for approval, the Federal Government has maintained the sum of N100bn for Constituency Projects for the 469 senatorial districts and federal constituencies across the country, N2.2bn for local and foreign travel of the President and the Vice President.
The National Assembly’s renovation budget has now been cut from N27bn to N9bn.
Also the reduction of the cuts in the budget for Universal Basic Education and Basic Health Care Provision Fund has been explained,
The Director-General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze said, “The statutory transfers to UBEC (Basic Education) and BHCPF (Basic Health) are set by law at two per cent and one per cent respectively of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Therefore, when the Covid-19 pandemic eroded the CRF, the budgetary provisions were automatically adjusted in accordance with the applicable laws.
“The provision for renovation/retrofitting of the National Assembly complex in the revised budget is N9.25bn, not N27bn as being bandied around. The initial provision of N37bn in the 2020 Appropriation Act for this was cut by 75 per cent due to the impact of Covid-19 on government revenues.”
The maintenance of the N100B for constituency project comes despite the huge impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s economy. However, the fund is tied to projects of lawmakers, they are often implemented by Federal Government agencies.
Ironically, the President, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had last year complained about the N100bn allocated yearly, he said
“It is on record that in the past 10 years, N1 trillion has been appropriated for constituency projects, yet the impact of such huge spending on the lives and welfare of ordinary Nigerians can hardly be seen.”