"Criticisms against Buhari’s N135bn virement request political" | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper f

The Lawmaker representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, has dismissed the criticisms against virement of funds in the 2017 Appropriation Act as political.

He said the projects which the money was meant to finance, would benefit Nigerians.

He noted that the South-East geopolitical zone which some of the critics in the Senate are representing had benefitted more from the All Progressives Congress and President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration than the previous Peoples Democratic Party government.

The Senate had on October 5, 2017, referred the request to vire N135.6bn in the 2017 budget by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to the Committee on Appropriations.

Osinbajo, who was Acting President while President Muhammadu Buhari was in London on medical vacation, had on July 20, 2017, written to both chambers of the National Assembly to make the request.

While some senators condemned the Executive for moving to vire allocations in the 2017 Appropriation Act when the implementation had just begun, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, criticised the request describing it as illegal.

But Akanbi said, “Sincerely, it is not lawful, but what is “law” and “unlawful” in a decision that will benefit all Nigerians?

“The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is not about the South-West alone, it is about the entire country. The Federal Government is generating over 80 per cent of non-oil revenue seaports in Lagos. That same road links the biggest international airport to Nigeria. Over 50 per cent of Nigeria’s Value Added Tax revenue comes from Lagos.

“So, a reasonable person by all means should support the decision to budget more money to complete the reconstruction project. It will benefit the entire country.

“Virement has been the tradition and I believe that people who are speaking against it are sounding too political. No government has invested this much in the South-East like the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.”

A breakdown of the virement as proposed by the Presidency showed that in the Ministry of Transportation alone, a total of N66bn would be moved into projects, while  N46bn was recorded for the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

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