The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led opposition in the House of Representatives has said the N10.3 trillion 2020 budget would be subjected to thorough legislative scrutiny to ensure that it reflects the general aspiration of over 200 million Nigerians.
The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement issued yesterday also frowned at reports that certain committees barred the media from covering their budget defence sessions.
To this end, the minority has directed all opposition members in various committees to ensure strict compliance with the democratic principles of transparency, accountability and prudence in the budget planning as well as in the implementation oversight of both the capital and recurrent components.
He said the opposition recognises the fact that Nigerians look up to them to protect their interest on critical issues that directly affect their lives, particularly on budget planning and implementation in key sectors.
“Consequently, the details of the N2.46 trillion capital budget must be dissected and adjusted accordingly to ensure that critical needs of Nigerians are adequately accommodated, as well as to plug waste and eliminate budgetary corruption at every stage.”
The minority leader also assured Nigerians that the opposition would take critical look at all revenue projections from Value Added Tax (VAT) and other tax regimes so as to ensure equity and fairness, and to guarantee that the masses are not overburdened in the process.
Meanwhile, the ongoing budget defence in the House will continue today, even as plenary resumes tomorrow.
However, after three weeks since the budget defence exercise started, most Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have defended their 2020 budget.
Following the public hearing on the 2020 budget held last week, the federal Ministry of Education, Federal Scholarship Board and Nigeria Immigration Service and others are billed to appear today before the respective committees.
The House had also scheduled the submission and defence of budget reports to appropriation committee from October 30 to November 5, 2019.