Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
A coalition of non-governmental and faith-based organisations, Citizens Wealth Platform (CWP), has decried what it described as frivolous, inappropriate, unclear and wasteful expenditure items embedded in the 2017 Budget proposals.
CWJ said a total of N145,906,610,652 could be saved in the 2017 fiscal year if appropriate agencies of government dispense with such frivollous, inappropriate, unclear and wsdtegul expenditure items.
Briefing journalists in Abuja yesterday, the Lead Director,
Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Eze Onyekpere, whose organisation is the arrowhead of CWP, said the country is in a recession, culminating in the collapse of living standards with many more Nigerians now living on the margins.
“In this period of great economic uncertainty, the federal budget, along with other economic policy instruments is supposed to provide a guide and direction out of the current economic quagmire. However, the estimates are not anchored on any discernible policy plank.
“We still have a budget suffused with frivolities, inappropriate, unclear and wasteful expenditure. Every Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) of government seems to be budgeting like business as usual. High level policy documents are not resonating through the budget estimates.
“The annual ritual of demanding for computers and software, bloated refreshment and meals, purchase of vehicles is still the norm. Every MDA wants a vote for annual budget expenses and administration after provisions have been made for their personnel costs which should have covered this demand.
“There is a demand for new vehicles without an explanation of what happened to the pool of existing vehicles. To worsen matters, MDAs are breaking the public procurement rules by demanding for specific brands of foreign cars at a time the leadership of the executive and legislature are championibg the Made in Nigeria campaign. The MDAs doing this include the Presidency/Stare Hous,” CWP said.