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Budget shocker: We didn’t see it until it was passed, Uwajumogu


Benjamin Uwajumogu

The lone All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator from Southeast geopolitical zone, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, has expressed dismay at some of the noticed cuts in the 2018 Budget, claiming that most Senators did not sight the Budget until it was passed.

Uwajumogu, who represents Imo north Senatorial district, also disclosed that the challenge in the system is that “budgets are sometimes treated at the level of chairmen of committees, where they meet and do these things.”He spoke to The Guardian against the backdrop of discrepancies in budgetary provisions to some projects in Southeast, particularly the slashing of fund meant for Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

The former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly said: “The fact is that budgets are sometimes treated at the level of chairmen of committees, they meet and do all of these, in fact, the project I proposed in 2017, the Ehimme Abaka dam, which I tried everything for them to add more money, but instead they slashed it into half.

“So I’m one of those unhappy with the situation. The dam project is one that would have helped in agriculture and power in my area, Mbano. There are so many of these things, I believe our budgets process in the Senate should go for review and I’m happy to note that there is an ongoing effort to craft a bill that will take care of this budget issues.”

While regretting the inferior number of Senators from the Southeast, Uwajumogu, disclosed that while other geopolitical zones had 18 to 21 Senators, Southeast had just 15, noting that the situation calls for regular caucus meeting by the zone.

On the $500m appropriated for Akanu Ibiam upgrade, Uwajumogu said: “We should look at the committee involved, especially in the Senate. I understand that the deputy chairmen of both chambers are from Southeast; they are the ones to explain what happened and I want it on record that none of us were consulted, we didn’t see the budget until it was passed.”

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