A civil society group, the Centre for Social Justice, CENSOJ, has said about N467.4 billion, or 5.43 per cent of the expenditure proposed in the 2018 Appropriation Bill are either “frivolous, inappropriate, unclear or wasteful.”
Consequently, the group said the National Assembly could save the country about N219.4 billion if members observed strict vigilance and exercised proper legislative oversight in the discharge of their functions in approving the budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 7, 2017 presented a budget of about N8.612 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly for consideration and approval. But, CENSOJ said in its report that some of the expenditures ignore the pressing problems and challenges Nigerian.
It said rather, “it (budget) provided for the fancy, whims and caprices of the budget crafters.”
Lead Director, CENSOJ, Eze Onyekpere, said some of the expenditures described as inappropriate were not only unsuitable or improper to meet the people’s needs, but also could not meet policy goals declared by the government.
Mr. Onyekpere, who is also the Convener of “Citizens Wealth Platform, CWP” said the unclear expenditures included those deliberately crafted by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs to deceive Nigerians.
He said those expenditures were often made, “to confuse, either by not having any fixed meaning, or without clear activities, services, goods, construction and deliverables that could easily be understood.”
“The frivolous expenditures have no serious purpose or value supported by any national plan or policy, while the wasteful expenditures, rather than contribute to the general welfare of the people incurs loss to the treasury,” Mr. Onyekpere said.