The Muslim Right Concern (MURIC) has described the content of the 2018 budget as a “rip off”.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the budget into law on Wednesday, lamenting the alterations made by the national assembly.
The president said while the lawmakers jerked up their budget by N14.5 billion, they also added over 6,000 projects to it.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Islamic group described the action of the legislators as “signs of deliberate attempt to sabotage government’s effort at speeding up developmental projects in critical areas”.
“NASS has revealed its intention to dent the image of the current administration by reducing the amount allocated to some strategic major roads to make way for those added by it,” read the statement signed by Ishaq Akintola, MURIC director.
“This is very significant as we approach the 2019 general elections. Good performance in those areas and completion of the projects were being touted as likely to skew votes in the direction of President Buhari while failure to finish them are most likely to ignite anger among the electorate in the affected areas.
“MURIC takes very serious objection to the strong arm tactics, procrastination and lackadaisical attitude of the federal lawmakers particularly on the issue of the 2018 budget which touches all aspects of life of every single Nigerian.
“2018 budget was deliberately delayed for seven good months to railroad the executive into signing under duress since very little time will be left for scrutinizing.
“This informed President Buhari’s remark yesterday that he was signing the budget to avoid total economic shutdown. We salute Mr. President for this altruism. It is very glaring that members of the NASS are proving beyond any reasonable doubt that they are enemies of the people; they are holding the nation to ransom.
“Nigerians must remember that this same NASS claimed that the budget was lost after receiving it from the executive. This caused a long delay. NASS is frustrating efforts of the federal government to provide critical infrastructure… we reiterate our conviction that this eighth NASS is the worst in the history of our nation.”
Describing the actions of the lawmakers as a “huge joke” and a “politics of pettiness and bitterness”, the group wondered why the budget of Unity schools was slashed by N3 billion in an era of high insecurity.
“It is also most paradoxical that the NASS would ever think of slashing the budget for the provision of security in the Unity Schools by N3 billion. It is unthinkable at a time when kidnapping is rife and the same NASS had threatened to impeach Mr. President over insecurity,” the statement read.
‘This must be a huge joke. Chibok and Dapchi must be tales from the moonlight as far as our lawmakers are concerned. It merely exposes the insincerity of Nigerian legislators at the federal level.
“These people are playing politics with the lives of Nigerians. Our people are being made to suffer because selfish lawmakers do not want progress to be registered during this Buhari regime. This is politics of pettiness and bitterness. It is ‘bolekaja’ diplomacy.
“We must pray that Almighty God should uplift those Nigerian lawmakers and other politicians who are promoting the welfare of the people and working for the greatness of our nation. We also need to beseech God to remove the hands of selfish lawmakers and other politicians from the destiny of the Nigerian people.” (The Cable)