Ben Akabueze defends items in 2018 spending plan
Though some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) described them as “suspicious and wasteful,’’ he insisted that the provisions were accountable and well placed.
The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) and BudgIT, identified between N73.3 billion and N460 billion as amount in the 2018-spending proposal with no justifiable place in the proposal and have both asked the National Assembly which is still scrutinizing the budget proposal to remove them.
They observed that while some items are repetitive, others are not explicit, just as the service – wide votes, which increasingly has become a slush of sort has continued to rise beyond the internationally approved limit of 10 per cent in extreme cases to 36 per cent, making the Ministries of Finance and the Budget Office of the Federation controlling more than 46 pet cent of the entire N8.6 trillion budget as the service wide votes reside in the two ministries.
But Akabueze yesterday at an interactive session in Abuja with the civil society community and the media stoutly defended the allegations raised explaining that the service wide votes reside in the two ministries to check abuses by the MDAs.
“ These votes though they reside in the Ministry of Budget and Finance but do not belong to us. These are provisions that are not sector specifics but are budgeted for emergencies, which can only be deployed with the approval of the President. “
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