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2021 Budget: Northeast governors accuse Buhari of shortchanging zone

The aggrieved governors urged the Northeast caucus of both arms of the federal parliament to ensure equity and fairness.

• November 27, 2020
Muhammadu buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari (Photo Credit – Garba Shehu facebook page)

The Buhari administration has come under criticism from the Northeast Governors Forum for ‘underfunding’ capital projects in the troubled region — plagued by decade-long Boko Haram violence. 

The forum, in a meeting held Friday in Yola, faulted the budgetary provision of N45.32 billion for infrastructure projects in the Northeast in the 2021 Appropriation Bill, describing it as “paltry.”

The Northeast governors accused the Buhari-led Federal Government of shortchanging the zone, noting that the proposed sum is insufficient in addressing the severe dearth of infrastructure in the crisis-ravaged region.

“Forum notes with dismay, that despite the challenges of development especially, the infrastructural deficit in Northeast, the 2021 proposed budget makes provision for only N45.32 billion for capital projects in the region,” a communique issued Friday by the forum said. “This represents a paltry 0.35 per cent of the proposed N13.02 trillion and this means the Northeast is highly short changed.”

The aggrieved governors urged the Northeast caucus of both arms of the country’s federal parliament to take urgent steps in seeking review of the 2021 fiscal plan to reflect equity and fairness across the board.

Thousands of Nigerians have been killed and millions displaced in the Northeast since 2009 — with Borno, Yobe and Adamawa as the epicentre of terrorist violence in the region.

In 2016, the Federal Government said an estimated $9 billion would be needed to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure in the Northeast. 

It was unclear how much has been released in previous budget proposals, but the government’s spending plan has performed below average in recent years.

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