NLC’s Stand On The #Budget2016 Padding Controversy
Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Abuja: The on-going controversy over the padding of the 2016 budget is an incontrovertible evidence of the inherent weaknesses in our budgeting process and accordingly underscores the need for a thorough revisit.
It also reveals the imperfections and the distrust in project identification/implementation system and consequent failure of the present model of capital budgeting without a development plan framework.
It shows that projects are not implemented according to needs-value or priority but who is behind which.
In light of the foregoing, we wish to state that instead of going after individuals, government should do a soul-search as well as x-tray a budgeting system that fails to address the needs of the people.
We caution against the use of the present development to settle political scores or unduly weaken the National Assembly.
A strong National Assembly is a necessity for a vibrant democracy. We urge Nigerians to be slow to anger in matters of this nature even as they have little or no reason to be too trusting of any political office holder, so that in the end, they do not end up victims of other peoples’ wars.
Even as vitriol and bile have risen, it is important to distinguish between genuine and phony constituency projects, for in truth, constituency projects are obligations owed constituents by Parliamentarians.
Finally, we call for caution, because how the issues in contention are resolved will shape the direction of our democracy; deepen or weaken it.
Equally important is the fact that it avails us an opportunity to revisit our budgetary system and the need for development planning.