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We didn’t make cuts to Second Niger Bridge, Enugu Airport projects – Senate

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We didn’t make cuts to Second Niger Bridge, Enugu Airport projects – Senate

The South-East Caucus in the Senate has opposed the alterations made by the National Assembly to the 2018 budget.

The South-East caucus faulted the reduction in the funds allocated for the Second Niger Bridge and the Enugu Airport projects.

The Senate South-East Caucus expressed surprise over the slashing of the N2bn allocated to the Enugu Airport Terminal to N500m.

The Chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, told journalists in Abuja on Thursday that members of the caucus were shocked to hear that the initial amount, which was jointly adopted by the Committees on Aviation at the Senate and House of Representatives, had been reduced.

Abaribe, who is representing Abia South Senatorial District, said an emergency meeting by senators from the South-East had been called to unravel who made the cut and at what point was it made.

The lawmaker, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, said the caucus was set to meet to find out what went wrong especially at what point the cut in the allocation was made.

He pointed out that budget documents were verifiable and “we are committed and determined to find out who made the cut.”

The senator recalled that the South-East lawmakers lobbied for the allocation to the airport to be increased to N3.5bn but were told by the Ministry of Aviation that it had an envelope budgetary plan, which would not allow an increment beyond the N2bn.

Abaribe alleged that N30bn was smuggled into the power budget without his committee’s knowledge.

According to him, the money was listed for expansion and re-enforcement of infrastructure in the distribution companies to reduce stranded firms.

The allocation, he said, “never passed through the Senate Power committee.” He asked, “Where did such huge sum of N30bn come from?”

“Let the Budget Office and other relevant bodies conduct a self-examination. Such self-examination will go a long way to clear certain grey areas,” Abaribe stated.

He added, “In the case of the Enugu Airport Terminal and the Second Niger Bridge, we want to find out at what point the cut was made.”

Abaribe said members of the caucus were collectively agitated. According to him, the geopolitical zone, which hardly receives a fair share of the national projects, had the little that came its way reduced.

He stated that no right thinking Igbo man would support slashing of allocation to projects in the South-East.00000

In the meantime, the South-East Caucus in the Senate, the Ijaw Youth Congress, the Centre Anti-Corruption and Open Leaders and an Afenifere chiefrain, Femi Okurounmu, have opposed the alterations made by the National Assembly to the 2018 budget.

While the South-East caucus faulted the reduction in the funds allocated for the Second Niger Bridge and the Enugu Airport projects, CACOL said the National Assembly did not follow due process.

The IYC, on its part, berated the lawmakers for cutting budgetary allocations for  the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, and the East -West Road projects.

Enugu airport, 2nd Niger Bridge votes manipulated – S’East senators

The Senate South-East Caucus expressed surprise over the slashing of the N2bn allocated to the Enugu Airport Terminal to N500m.

The Chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, told journalists in Abuja on Thursday that members of the caucus were shocked to hear that the initial amount, which was jointly adopted by the Committees on Aviation at the Senate and House of Representatives, had been reduced.

Abaribe, who is representing Abia South Senatorial District, said an emergency meeting by senators from the South-East had been called to unravel who made the cut and at what point was it made.

The lawmaker, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, said the caucus was set to meet to find out what went wrong especially at what point the cut in the allocation was made.

He pointed out that budget documents were verifiable and “we are committed and determined to find out who made the cut.”

The senator recalled that the South-East lawmakers lobbied for the allocation to the airport to be increased to N3.5bn but were told by the Ministry of Aviation that it had an envelope budgetary plan, which would not allow an increment beyond the N2bn.

Abaribe alleged that N30bn was smuggled into the power budget without his committee’s knowledge.

According to him, the money was listed for expansion and re-enforcement of infrastructure in the distribution companies to reduce stranded firms.

The allocation, he said, “never passed through the Senate Power committee.” He asked, “Where did such huge sum of N30bn come from?”

“Let the Budget Office and other relevant bodies conduct a self-examination. Such self-examination will go a long way to clear certain grey areas,” Abaribe stated.

He added, “In the case of the Enugu Airport Terminal and the Second Niger Bridge, we want to find out at what point the cut was made.”

Abaribe said members of the caucus were collectively agitated. According to him, the geopolitical zone, which hardly receives a fair share of the national projects, had the little that came its way reduced.

He stated that no right thinking Igbo man would support slashing of allocation to projects in the South-East.

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