Saturday 23 January 2016

Group condems #Buhari’s N4.8bn budget for clinic and website, says its embarrasing } TheSun

The President, Rights Monitoring Group and Country Director, Centre on Convention for Democratic Integrity, Mr. Femi Aduwo, described the N4bn proposed for Aso Rock clinic and N800m for a website in the 2016 budget as embarrassing and abnormal.

He said, “If N4bn is proposed for Aso Rock clinic in a year and the facility is meant for the Very Important People, I want to believe that the VIPs go beyond the President and the Vice-President. For example, if you have an equipped clinic in Aso Rock, all the former presidents, former ministers and former governors can go there for medical checkup, but as it were today, we know that all the former presidents and former governors don’t use Aso Rock clinic. This is an Aso Rock clinic that could not take care of former President Umaru Yar’Adua when he was sick.

“So, if you propose N4bn to be spent and there are elements of trust and transparency in the spending, there is no problem with that, but if you propose N10 for the project and the money is looted or stolen, we will still go back to square one.

He also added that it was embarrassing that N800m was being proposed for a website in this modern era, citing that the website of the United States President, Barack Obama, cost less than $1m.

The activists claimed that the proposals were the direct opposite of President Muhammadu Buhari’s change mantra.

Another activist and lawyer, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, recalled how Nigerians were angry with former President Goodluck Jonathan who budgeted N1bn for feeding in 2014. He urged Buhari to be a “shining example of a Spartan leader who is not interested in living a life of luxury at the expense of the people he was elected to govern. He should let the charity begin at home.”

“Though I accept the fact that the Office of the President deserves all the glamour and the state of the art equipment, the amount budgeted for Aso Rock renovation, for website, for Aso Rock clinic, for maintenance of generator is becoming like a scandal to us as a nation. This is very bad and I urge the President to scale down the items of luxury; the items that have no explanation.” he said.

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