By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Pastor Ossai Nicholas Ossai has said that the presentation of 2016 budget estimate to the National Assembly may likely be delayed by the government of president Mohammad Buhari so as to enable the newly sworn ministers get abreast of the various activities in the ministries.
Ossai gave the hints at the formal inauguration of the Abuja chapter of the Ndokwa Neku union, NNU at the weekend.
He stated that the Ministers require time to knit the proposals together before a collation can be done by the executive arm.
He said: “The executive is just being reconstituted now. You have to give them time to be able to put their own ideas into the picture of the budget. Probably, the first or second meetings have taken place, in the recent constituted federal executive council. So, they need time to be able to play their role and bring their ideas in conformity with that of the president. I believe probably, that is what has delayed the budget of 2016 and we are looking at a situation where the budget will be all inclusive.
“Therefore, if we look in that direction, we should not blame the president. What we did in the 8th national assembly is that the 2015 budget should be better implemented.
“When the House did setup a committee for non-implementation of capital projects, we dived into it and a report has been submitted at the floor of the House and since then, monies had been released to ministries and agencies and the economy has picked up. This is largely because of the proactiveness and leadership of the 8th assembly. I think we are going in the right direction.”
The federal lawmaker who represents Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency of Delta state also stated that also emphasized the need to step up the capital expenditure in the budget as against recurrent expenditure to create more job opportunities.
Specifically, he stated that education and agriculture should be accorded more attention.
“It is good that the capital projects should be such that would address the majority in Nigeria in terms of recurrent expenditure. You must service people to be able to bring succor to them. You must service the agencies that do roads, if their salaries are not taken care of, how would they do the things?
“I pray that the budget of 2016 will see increase in terms of education, capacity building for teachers is very important, critical infrastructures in schools is also very important, making sure that you encourage research to make sure that modern ways of doing things are brought in is also very important, so that the knowledge can be impacted on our people.
“In my thinking, education should form one of the highest followed by agriculture and then, solid minerals and other sectors follow. I believe that when you do it, you are improving the economy of the country”, he said.
Speaking on the anti-graft war of President Buhari, the lawmaker said it was a good development to stamp out corruption within the public system.
He said “You must start from somewhere and if the present government has decided to start with some persons, then its OK. I believe its a step, a thousand miles begins from a step. I don’t think the president is getting it wrong even though he is not from my political party.
“I believe you must start from somewhere, some people must be taken and brought to book if you have eaten money from Nigeria. I am not against what the president is doing, he should just do it in line with the law. This is not the military time, it is democracy. The law should be allowed to play its role.”
Ossai also assured his people at the event that their dream to see the stepping down of the independent power plant (IPP) at Okpai within the Ndokwa community would soon come through.
According to him, the project would gulp the sum of N13.6 billion in the 2016 budget.
“I went to the national assembly and the motion was resolved into three issues, a stockholders meeting be called, 13.6 billion should be budgeted to step down electricity to Ndokwa land and AGIP should embarked on reclaiming the seashore at OKpai
“These are the issues that were resolved and I communicated that to the president and the IGP, to forestall the break down of law and order, to NAPIPS, NNPC, NERC, TCN, budget office in line with the 13.6 billion, to permanent secretary ministry of power since ministers were yet to be appointed. All these were communicated to and these are the issues in order to find solutions and step down light for my people”, he said.
Speaking earlier at the occasion that was themed “The New Agenda For The Development of Ndokwa and The Challenges of Leadership”, the President-General of Ndokwa nation, Paul Enebeli said that the inauguration of the Abuja chapter was part of an effort to give the people of the community a sense of integration.
The event which held at the Rock -View attracted prominent sons and daughters of Ndokwa nation.