The opposition party says the FCT budget proposals reflect government’s insensitivity.
The opposition Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, has condemned the N253 billion “outrageous” budget proposal for the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, which has received presidential approval.
The budget’s details, allocating huge sums of money to subheads considered frivolous, stirred criticisms directed at the FCT minister, Bala Muhammed, and President Goodluck Jonathan.
Part of the spending gives N4 billion for the construction of First Lady, Patience Jonathan’s mission building; another N5 billion for the rehabilitation of commercial sex workers; N7 billion for the construction of two city gates, and N150 Million for the renovation of Vice President’s guest houses in Asokoro.
Details of the budget emerged after National Assembly members began consideration of an approved version sent by the president.
The CPC said the allocations were “insensitive” and showed the nation’s leaders were not prepared to offer the “selflessness and sacrifice” they demand from Nigerians.
“It is appalling to see budgetary allocation as much as four billion naira for the office of the First Lady that is not recognized by the Nation’s constitution,” the party said in a statement signed by spokesperson, Rotimi Fashekin.
“A cursory view of these budgetary items easily reveals that this PDP-led regime is never in short supply of nauseous financial recklessness and indescribable superfluity of indiscretion,” he said.
The statement added: “At a time when many Nigerians have been rendered homeless by the anti-people stance of the PDP-led FCT administration, it is ludicrous to imagine that, rather than embarking on projects in alleviating the afflictions, this clueless regime has again shown its undisguised self-centeredness.”
The opposition party recalled an earlier N7 billion budgeted for the construction of a new home for the Vice President, Namadi Sambo. The amount was later raised to N16 billion, sparking public anger.
“Despite the show of outrage by the Nigerian people – as evidenced by their elected representatives in the National Assembly- ,” the CPC said, “the same regime is demanding another humongous allocation for renovating the guess houses for the same Vice-president”
The FCT minister has however denied the ministry was allocating N5 billion for the rehabilitation of sex workers. A spokesperson said on Saturday the amount was N150 million.
But the minister did not give any clarification on the sums allocated for the First Lady’s project and the new city gates.