The Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, has accused the National Assembly of being selfish by reducing the budget allocations to developmental projects in the country.
While assenting to the 2018 appropriation bill during the week, President Muhammadu Buhari had alerted Nigerians that it would be difficult for the purpose of the budget to be achieved due to some changes made by the National Assembly.
The changes include the slashing of fund allocated to construction of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko and the East-West Road.
IYC wondered why the lawmaker would increase their own funds while reducing that meant for development of the country.
The youths recalled that a similar reduction in allocations to developmental projects was done under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that it led to the non-completion of the East-West Road.
The IYC, in a statement on Thursday by its President, Eric Omare, said, “We consider the action of the National Assembly as insensitive and retrogressive to the development of the country. It is utter selfishness for the National Assembly to reduce funds allocated to key developmental initiatives and increase its budget.”
He recalled that “the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University, Delta State was one of the agreements reached between the leaders of the Niger Delta and the Federal Government to ensure peace in the region.”
According to the Ijaw youths, it was in furtherance of the agreement that N5bn was budgeted for the establishment of the university.
The youths demanded that Buhari sends a supplementary budget to the National Assembly without further delay, to enable it to correct the anomaly in the interest of the Niger Delta.
He said, “The IYC is compelled to ask if the members of the National Assembly were elected to serve the interest of the generality of Nigerians or their personal interest.
“There is no single reason why members of the National Assembly would reduce funds allocated for key projects such as the Maritime University, East- West Road, Mambilla Power Project and the completion of Enugu International Airport and increase their own budget. This is to say the least condemnable.”
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