A former Minister of State for Defence, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro has urged the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the 2018 before the end of February for appreciable implementation.
Obanikoro, who recently defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), made the call in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Lagos.
He said that delaying the budget beyond February could create challenges for its implementation.
“I sincerely hope that the National Assembly will pass the 2018 appropriation in good time to allow for effective implementation.
“If the budget is not passed before the end of February, it will be a bit difficult to achieve much in terms of implementation before the year ends because of 2019 elections.
“Presently, there is the need to sustain and consolidate on massive investments in infrastructure and to continuously grow the post-recession economy, and the appropriation bill is crucial to achieving all these,’’ he said.
On the clashes between farmers and herdsmen, Obanikoro urged the Federal Government to take practical steps to end incessant conflicts between farmers and herdsmen across the country.
“The insecurity situation in Nigeria, especially as it concerns incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen, has become really worrisome and I will urge government not to rest until the situation is normalised.
“I believe that we should be concerned about fast-tracking Nigeria’s development to catch up with the rest of the world and not having such insecurity at this time,’’ he said.
He commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos for his developmental strides in the state.
“I must confess that I am really impressed with what governor Ambode is doing in Lagos.
“The massive investments in infrastructure upgrade all over the state, and the little, common sense solutions to traffic management and refuse disposal are really impressive.
“The infrastructure transformation of Epe is also very commendable. At this rate, Epe will soon become a tourist destination of choice in Nigeria.
“That is how to grow an economy and distribute wealth.’’