DG Budget Office: It’s not true N27bn was allocated for National Assembly renovation

The budget office has denied claims in some quarters that N27bn was allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly Complex as contained in the 2020 appropriation bill.

Several Nigerians have called out the Nigerian government for allegedly allocating such amount of money for renovation when the masses are undergoing hardships of various kinds.

But breaking the silence on the issue on Thursday, budget office Director-General, Ben Akabueze, said N9.25 billion was earmarked for the project.

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According to him, the allocation, which was initially N37 billion, was cut down by 75 percent to N9.25 billion, and not N27 billion as quoted by some reports.

He said: “The provision for renovation/retrofitting of the National Assembly (NASS) Complex in the revised budget is N9.25bn, not N27bn as being bandied around.

“The initial provision of N37bn in the 2020 Appropriation Act for this was cut by 75% due to the impact of COVID-19 on government revenues.”

Akabueze went on to dismiss claims that the federal government slashed allocations for Universal Basic Education (UBE) and health care provision fund, noting they were only adjusted in accordance with the law.

He added: “Therefore, when the Covid-19 pandemic eroded the CRF, the budgetary provisions were automatically adjusted in accordance with the applicable law.”

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Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had signed a budget of N10.5 trillion into law. The approved budget, however, had been revised following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which had negatively affected the economy.

The revised budget is now being considered by both chambers of the national assembly.

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