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Friday, 12 February 2016

Group Demand Online Publication of South East Govs 2016 Budgets


South East Govs
Following the discrepancies  noticed in the 2016 federal budget which forced the National Assembly to temporarily suspend its passage, a group, the Igbo Awareness Coalition,(ICA) has called on governors of the South East States to publish their budget online for public scrutiny.

In a statement in Enugu and signed by the group’s president, Rev Emmanuel Duru, (ICA) said Governors of the South East States should publish their budgets online for their citizens to assess.

Part of the statement reads:

“We have noticed the embarrassment the 2016 federal budget has caused the present APC led Federal Government. The proposed Federal budget is reported to contain verifiable and noticeable padding of allocations by officials of federal ministries and agencies.

“The Igbo Awareness Coalition (IAC) tend to believe that such padding was done to support the lifestyle of public office holders in the present administration.

“While we salute the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate those responsible for this clear case of national theft and the National Assembly for spotting out and identifying these mindless inflation of allocations, we call on the State Governors in the South East to make available for public scrutiny their 2016 budgets.

The coalition said that since such noticeable flaws can be found in the 2016 federal budget, “there is every possibility that there may be similar cases in the budgets of the five South Eastern States”.

“While we do not accuse any State governor or any government official in the South East States of such padding in allocations, events surrounding the federal budget are an eye opener and makes it imperative for State governments in the South East region to publish their 2016 budgets and subsequent budgets for the citizenry to assess.

The statement pointed out that “if there are errors in the federal budget, there is the likelihood that budgets of the State governors especially those in the South East, will be riddled with flaws as well.

The Coalition said the need for South East governors to publish their budgets online for all to see  is important in order to aid and assist State Houses of Assemblies in the five Eastern States to critically asses the budgets and ensure that over inflated figures do not find its way in such appropriations.

“At a time there is economic meltdown in the country, it is important every kobo is properly accounted for. The startling revelations in the federal budget makes it imperative that budgets of State governors should not be the exclusive preserve of the State Houses of Assembly members” the statement stated.

“We are aware that the budget of every state is a public document but we have observed that most times when inquiries are made about such budgets, it is not accessible. This informed our clarion call on Governors in the South East States to lead by example and demonstrate more openness by publishing their annual budgets online for all to see and asses” the statement concluded.  

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