.Urges FG adequate implementation
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Gbenga Ashafa has called on the Federal Government to ensure quick and frequent capital releases to ensure that the 2019 budget is adequately implemented.
The Senator made this remark, Wednesday, during his contribution to the general principles of the 2019 budget on the floor of the Senate today 13th March, 2019.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari formally presented the 2019 budget proposal of N8.83 trillion at a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday 19, December 2018.
According to Ashafa “Like I usually emphasise it is not the size of the budget that is most important. What is most important is its implementation. Though we may have a large budget, without implementation is as good as no budget.
“This is an area that I would want the executive to look at in a manner that capital would be increased and released on time with primary focus on going critical infrastructural projects.”
He further stated that the government in its bid to diversify the economy has placed much importance on Agriculture, adding that in the absence of a good transportation system movement of farm produce will be difficult.
He therefore, commended the Executive for including in the 2019 budget allocations that will improve on the transportation system of the country.
“I am particularly impressed that the executive knowing the importance of infrastructure to the development of the economy has decided to prioritize on-going critical infrastructure by allocating capital for them in the 2019 budget.
“Most especially in the transportation sector N80.22 billion Counterpart funding has been allocated for such railway projects including Lagos-Kano, Calabar-Lagos, Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri) Port Harcourt- Maiduguri, Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi in Niger Republic, Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja (Warri)-Warri Port and Refinery Including Warri New Harbour and Bonny Deep Sea Port & Port Harcourt and other Rail Projects Also about N27.12 billion has been allocated for various rehabilitation of railway tracks across the nation.” Ashafa stated
He therefore, urged the National Assembly to not waste time in considering the budget and pass same into law.
He said “It is quite understandable that work is commencing on the budget a bit late, due to the just concluded General elections which has eaten into the available time.
“The National Assembly must now expeditiously attend to the passage of the 2019 Appropriation Bill without allowing room for any distraction.
” Let me use this medium to call on all agencies of Government to be up and doing and stand ready with all necessary documents to ensure that the 2019 Appropriation Bill is passed urgently.”