Nigerians have said that President Muhammadu Buhari should not have signed the 2018 budget, which he did amidst claims that the National Assembly “tampered” with the document.
Buhari had lamented that the 2018 Appropriation Act, which he signed into law on Wednesday, would be difficult — if not impossible — to implement because of the alterations members of the National Assembly had effected on the document he submitted to them on November 7, 2017.
He accused the federal lawmakers of, among others, increasing the National Assembly budget by N14.5bn from N125bn to N139.5bn without any discussion with the Executive.
He also accused them of injecting 6,403 projects of their own totaling N578bn into the national budget, while making cuts amounting to N347bn in the allocations to 4,700 projects as submitted to them.
Projects from which cuts were made include the Mambilla Power Plant, Second Niger Bridge/ancillary roads, the East-West Road, Bonny-Bodo Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Itakpe-Ajaokuta Rail Project, totalling an aggregate of N11.5bn.
In their response, Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah; and the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, said if they had allowed the budget to scale through the way Buhari submitted it to them, they would have been in trouble with those who elected them.
Nigerians are not taking the issues lightly, as they confronted their leaders via Buhari’s verified Twitter handle —@MBuhari
Nigerians have since taken to Twitter to express their views: