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Education, health votes cut to fund road: Senator, union leader disagree

By FUNMI KOMOLAFE & SHUAIBU INALEGWU

SENATOR Adamu Galba Talba and the general secretary of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, Comrade Marcus Omokhuale, have disagreed over the Senate decision to slash the education and health budgets of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to fund road projects.

The Senate had last Wednesday approved N6.2 billion cut of the education and health budgets of the FCT to fund the N25 billion expansion work on two major roads in Abuja.

Talba did not see any problem with the parliament’s decision which Omokhuale described as the reason the nation’s health facilities are in deplorable state. The lawmaker and union leader spoke to Sunday Vanguard in separate interviews at the weekend.

The senator said: “I do not think there is any problem with the decision taken by the Senate to approve the money from education and health budgets to fund FCT projects. I say this because of the explanations given by the chairman of Appropriation Committee, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

He told us that the money taken would not affect the two sectors in any way. As such, I think it is appropriate to use the money instead of allowing it to lie fallow till the end of the year, when it will be eventually returned to the federation’s account as unspent budget. So, to me, there is nothing wrong.

Again you have to look at the importance of the road projects  to Abuja and the people of Nigeria. So, nothing is too small or too big when you are sacrificing and I think is it a
good decision and we have to support it.”

But Omokhuale said: “The government has made a statement by that action that it has no vision, purpose, direction and the future is bleak. It is a sign of the fact  that government is not mindful of the sensitive nature of health and education. That is the reason our health facilities are in a deplorable state.”


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