Charles Onyekamuo in Awka
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari will not be in a hurry to sign the 2016 national budget into law until all grey areas and mistakes are sorted out and corrected by the National Assembly.
The national assembly had a fortnight ago sent the passed 2016 appropriation bill to the President for his assent for it become law. But penultimate week, the President withheld assent even as accusations of removal of certain projects like the Lagos-Calabar rail line became rife.
Speaking at a programme to resettle graduates of vocational skills development in Anambra State at the weekend, Ngige said there could be mistakes in the budget, but that the national assembly should summon the courage to correct them where they are detected.
He called on well-meaning Nigerians to rally round the federal government in its quest to turn around the fortunes of the country. He said the Buhari administration sort of started afresh on all parameters; having come on board when the price of crude oil that sold for above $100 per barrel suddenly nose-dived to about $40 per barrel and almost every other sector of per barrel and almost every other sector of the economy remained comatose.
Previous budgets he said were done at a benchmark of $70 per barrel, a situation that saw a growth in the excess crude account.
“There could be mistakes but the National Assembly should be man enough to correct them if noticed. The President will not sign the budget until all mistakes are streamlined,” he said.
The minister said the federal government had through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the activities of the National Directorate of Employment vigorously pushed the frontiers of providing decent and sustainable jobs for the unemployed.
A total of thirty persons received equipment and a micro loan of N20,000 to start small business received fresh impetus to continue creating wealth, sustainable and decent jobs in the state.
But Ngige said over 2,800 new businesses would have been generated across 17 other states in the country where the graduate scheme took place simultaneously.
Another 1,850 persons he said are being trained nation-wide under the Community Based Training (CBT) scheme. This number of persons he hinted would be resettled in the next two months to start small scale businesses in the moral communities across the country.