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Budget paddling: Obi demands total review of 2024 budget, calls for reallocation of resources

Budget paddling: Obi demands total review of 2024 budget, calls for reallocation of resources


Following the recent allegations of padding in the national assembly, Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, has called for a review of the 2024 budget.

Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi central, had alleged that the 2024 budget was padded with N3 trillion.

Ningi, who is also the chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, said “huge damage” was done to the north in the 2024 budget and called for an urgent review.

Speaking on the matter, Obi also “appealed” for a review of the budget, stressing the need to adequately utilise the nation’s resources.

“Having followed the controversies trailing the 2024 budget, and having read some of the budgetary provisions and allocations of resources, I wish to respectfully appeal for a total review of the entire budget,” he said in a post on X.

“The executive and legislative arms should initiate an immediate review of the budget as it is still in early days of implementation in order to enable them do urgent virement of resources to critical areas.

“The nation’s resources should adequately be appropriated to critical areas like security, fighting poverty and solving the challenges of hunger and food insecurity, power supply, especially considering the difficult times that we are in.

“In the past 1 year, about 7000 Nigerians have been kidnapped, with about 700 kidnapped in the last 3 weeks, not withstanding the violent crimes and killings that occur in every part of the nation, which must have included us in one of the world’s riskiest countries to live in.

“A report by the globally respected publication, Financial Times, on March 12, 2024, described Nigeria’s kidnapping racket as a sign of a failed state. With all of these happening in our nation, how then can we attract foreign investors, & retain the confidence of local investors?

“We have become one of the hungriest nations in the world and one of the most difficult nations in the world to live in, with food prices constantly going out of the reach of most Nigerians.

“Power supply is abysmally poor and Nigerians are now mostly in total darkness as over 60% are without power supply. Even those in perceived privileged areas now go for days without power supply.

“A 2022 Energy Progress Report designated Nigeria as the country with the largest number of people lacking access to electricity with 92 million of its over 200 million population living without electricity.

Obi said “about 80 percent” of Nigeria’s primary healthcare centres are not functional, adding that the cost of medical treatments and medicines have gone beyond the reach of most Nigerians.

“We now hold the enviable position of having the highest number of out of school children, with about 20 million out-of-school children. We need to take our children off the streets and give them access to basic education.”

The politician called on the executive and legislative arms to “consider the many challenges facing our nation and re-allocate resources to these very critical areas”.