- Southeast governors have taken the federal government to task over the poor implementation of federal budgets in the zone
- They pointed out that budgets are designed to ensure the restoration of the national economy on the path of sound and sustainable growth across all sectors
- The governors resolved to keep working as think tanks to review budget allocations and implementations at the state and national levels, going forward
Governors of the southeast region on Wednesday, August 22, expressed their dissatisfaction with the implementation of federal budgets in the zone.
They expressed the sentiment via the director general of the Southeast Governors Forum, Prof Simeon Otuanya, in Enugu, Guardian reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that the chief executives conveyed their feelings during the presentation of a report on the performance of the 2017 federal budget, which indicated that the construction of the Second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra state, was never captured in the document.
The governors called on the federal government to fulfill the expectations of the public; pointing out that budgets are designed to ensure the restoration of the national economy on the path of sound and sustainable growth across all sectors and geographical spaces around the country.
They said: “We believe that such re-balancing must take into consideration, the concepts of equity and fairness vertically and horizontally, in order to develop every nook and cranny of the nation.
“We will continue to work as think tanks to review budget allocations and implementations at the state and national levels for all the years forward, with special interest on how they are helping the region towards economic renaissance.”
Also speaking at the presentation of the report, an economist, Dr Uzochukwu Amakom, stated that projects allocated to the southeast in the 2017 budget were either not started, abandoned, poorly executed or still ongoing.
He pointed out that the Second Niger Bridge which was proposed at an initial cost of N117 billion in 2013 and later adjusted to include railing and increase in the number of lanes from two to three, has never been captured in the budget.
Amakom said: “The project, which is supposed to have been completed in four years after its foundation stone-laying ceremony in 2013, is still at the primary stage. Progress of work is very slow.
“Although the work was started with Julius Berger, they are yet to be awarded the contract formally. This was the story of the people at the site and was confirmed by the ministry. We made efforts to speak to the controller of works in Awka to clear the matter, without success at the time.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the southeast Senate caucus expressed shock over the reported cut in the 2018 budget allocation for the Enugu Airport terminal.
The caucus also alleged N30 billion was smuggled into the power budget without the knowledge of the Senate committee on power, steel development and metallurgy.
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