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Analysts harp on rising cost of governance as Buhari signs 2022 budget

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ANALYSTS have expressed concerns over the cost of governance as President Muhammadu Buhari signs the 2022 Appropriation Bill into law.

They called on the Federal government to pay attention to where it spends the appropriated funds in order to ensure that the budget has an overall impact on the economy.

“Government must pay attention to the Oronsanye’s Report and address concerns of duplication of duties.

“The government must also pay attention to political office holders, for that is where we have rising cost of recurrent expenditure,” Professor of Economics at the University of Lagos Ndubuisi Nwokoma said in a monitored broadcast on Friday on Arise Television.

He said that the government had not considerably looked into the cost of governance even when it did not have enough funds.

“If you look at the countries we borrow from, the leaders live more modestly that our leader and we borrow from them,” he said.

He further expressed concerns that the government was spending substantial amount of its earnings in servicing debt.

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An economist James Akpu said the 1999 Constitution must be amended to have only one legislative organ, rather than two

“If we want to have only one, maybe the House of Representatives, we will cater for 360 persons, but I think the additional 109 persons is just a nuisance,” he said.

” We may also decide to have only the Senate and abolish the lower chamber. Let’s decide this now, without delay.”

It would be noted that President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja on Friday, signed the 2022 Appropriation Bill and the 2021 Finance Bill into law.

The president signed the documents in the Presidential Villa in the presence of Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, and other members of the Federal Executive Council.

The president, at the event, said the 2022 budget, just signed into law, provided for aggregate expenditures of N17.127 trillion, an increase of N735.85 billion over the initial executive proposal of N16.391 trillion.

He also  explained that N186.53 billion of the increase came from additional critical expenditures that he had authorised the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to forward to the National Assembly.

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‘‘The minister will provide the public with the details of the budget as passed by the National Assembly, and signed into law by me,’’ he said.

President Buhari also expressed strong reservations on the ‘’worrisome changes’’ made by the National Assembly to the 2022 executive budget proposal.

He announced that he would revert to the National Assembly with a request for amendment as soon as the members  resumed, to ensure that critical ongoing projects cardinal to this administration did not suffer setbacks due to reduced funding.

The president recounted that during the presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Bill, he had stated that the fiscal year 2022 would be very crucial in his administration’s efforts to complete critical agenda projects as well as improve the general living conditions of the people.

He expressed concern in the reductions in provisions for some critical projects, including N12.6 billion in the Ministry of Transport’s budget for the ongoing rail modernisation projects; N25.8 billion from Power Sector Reform Programme under the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; N14.5 billion from several projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, and introducing over 1,500 new projects into the budgets of this ministry and its agencies.

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