CSO discovers N227b frivolous items in proposed 2022 budget
Says Nigeria will save N2tr by abolishing fuel subsidy
A CIVIL society organisation, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), has revealed that the 2022 proposed budget of the Federal Government is littered with frivolous items of about N227 billion.
It said removing the items from the budget will address growing level of deficit and improve public infrastructure across the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October presented a budget of N16.39 trillion for the year 2022 to the joint session of the National Assembly.
In its publication titled: ‘Frivolous, Inappropriate, Unclear And Wasteful Estimates In The 2022 Federal Appropriation Bill’, CSJ said Nigeria’s revenue is inadequate to fund fundamental expenditure.
Presenting the report to journalists in Abuja, yesterday, Lead Director of CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, also disclosed that Nigeria will save about N2 trillion by abolishing fuel subsidy.
“Every available fund should be spent with the greatest value for money, tied to a high-level national policy framework and aimed at improving livelihoods, growing the economy, reducing poverty and inequality,” he said.
He said the 2022 Appropriation Act should contain explicit provision on abolishing fuel subsidies and “under recovery or any subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit by whatever name it is called or under any guise whatsoever.”
He said: “This will save about N2 trillion and make the same available for the federation account. About 60 per cent of the savings accruing from abolishing the subsidy should be channelled to dedicated ring-fenced (statutory) expenditure in education and health.”
While describing the yearly budgetary allocations to the State House as a waste, the organisation demanded that government lead by example.
It said: “Spending billions of naira every year on routine maintenance of State House facilities is a huge waste. All statutory transfers are stated as lump sum provisions without details.
“No person, government agency or organisation has the right in a constitutional democracy to spend public funds in a way that is unknown to the ultimate sovereigns, who are the taxpayers and citizens.”