Nigeria

2022 Budget: Nigerian government to spend N850 million on bush clearing – CSJ

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) and a knowledge-based institution, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), has condemned the Federal Government’s budget of over N850 million to clear bush for the establishment of National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) integrated farm estate.

In a document signed by the Lead Director (CSJ), Barrister Eze Onyekpere, it is frivolous to spend such money for the clearing of the bush.

In the 2022 Budget, the government will also spend N1 billion to buy land preparation equipment such as tractors, tillers and implements.

Other expenditures that are frivolous, include the construction of 1,200 units of new farmhouses for N850, 000,000 and domestication of six UNESCO cultural conventions and its protocols for N12,000,000.

“Most of the projects of NALDA are in “some selected states” without a clear identification of the exact location. These locations should be made available before approval by National Assembly. The 2022 Budget call circular states: ” Please note that it is now a requirement to provide the Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates of the location of all projects above N150 million in value to be included in the budget. This will aid geo-tagging of the projects and facilitate deployment of technology in monitoring and evaluation” the document, said.

Another expenditure that has come under heavy criticism is the N21,974,763.310 budgeted for the construction of the presidential wing at the statehouse medical centre.

This fund, according to the document, should better be channelled to the health of the entire population because the president always indulges in medical tourism.

The purchase of SUV Jeep for chief executives of newsmen at N82,000,000 is unacceptable to Onyekpere because, according to the call circular, resources are to be allocated based on actual needs, in line with the immediate needs of the country as well as the government’s developmental objectives and priorities.

“This allocation fails to meet these criteria” Onyekpere, said.

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