Obaseki’s 2018 budget is full of deceit, duplication – PDP

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Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the state 2018 budget as signed into law by Governor Godwin Obaseki is full of deceit and duplication.

It said the Edo 2018 budget was meant to inflict pains on the people.

The PDP said the budget was padded and funds allowed to projects already completed and commissioned by former Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

What it said made the budget unserious was the allocation of N15bn to the office of the Governor.

State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, who spoke at a press briefing in Benin City yesterday it was worrisome that Obaseki allocated 10 percent of the entire budget sum to his office at a time Edo people are experiencing hard times and finding it difficult to make ends meet.

Chief Orbih accused Obaseki of wasting state fund on frivolous things by allocating N4bn as security vote, N1.5bn for governor’s office, N2.5bn for central administration, N2.105bn for governor’s entertainment and N1m monthly for an essential drug for the Governor.

Orbih alleged that the budget was padded to the tune of over N500 under the guise of providing equipment for the new accident and emergency ward and construction of new and emergency ward complex at the Benin Central hospital

He said the provision of N134m to build a water fountain in the budget was misplaced as portable water was not available in the state.

The PDP chairman said it was wrong to provide N100m for start-up packs for young entrepreneurs and small loans and another N100m for consultancy service.

According to him, “The APC government is unserious. If Obaseki is sick, he should let us know about his health status. How come we will use N1m monthly to buy essential drugs for the Governor. We are forced to ask what exactly is wrong with the Governor?

“The man Oshiomhole foisted on us is not a technocrat. Look at the budget breakdown. They gave us a man that has no knowledge of governance. There is no functional public water in Benin City. Water Board is not functioning now.

“You need to go into the details of the 2018 budget to know what we are talking about. The government has remained adamant to pensioners but voted money to provide water fountain.

“Some of the money is duplicated in other sub-heads. In the Ministry of Health, you will see Obaseki’s wonder.”

Reacting to the allegations, Governor Obaseki said the PDP could not appreciate plans and initiatives contained in the 2018 budget because it was still stuck in primitive politics and a system that glorifies avarice.

Governor Obaseki who spoke through his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, noted that the 2018 budget was meant to fix the damage caused by decades of misrule by the PDP.

Obaseki stated that the budget was targeted at improving the well being of Edo people and aimed towards enhancing enterprise, building infrastructure, promoting agriculture, enhancing job creation and social economic well being of Edo.

He added, “Specifically, some roads that will be constructed this year were budgeted for by the PDP in the past and money was released that ended up in their private safes. These roads were not constructed. We have the same issues in the education sector where money was released to build schools, only to be stolen.

“But under Governor Obaseki, we are seeing roads being fixed everywhere and this will continue in the years to come. The PDP is bitter because there is no more money to share for birthday parties and ego trips. This budget will address the needs of ordinary Edo people.”

“Hard as they tried, they cannot say that Governor Obaseki allocated any sum to himself, his family or his political party, as is the stock in trade of the PDP. The budget is clear in its purpose.

“Specifically, given the need to fast-track development, the 2018 budget is focused on key areas that can easily spur growth. Over 60 percent of the budget went to infrastructure; around 20 percent to growth enablers, such as job creation and agriculture. Law and order got 10 percent because the PDP bastardised the state when it held the helm of affairs and almost succeeded in turning the state to a place without order.

“But we understand why the PDP would come out to make these spurious allegations. In their heydays, they built roads on paper; the budgets were for the fun of it. Roads were budgeted for but no one could see where they were built. These, for them, were their hallmarks of governance.

“The culture of stealing and greed, of appropriating to themselves the Commonwealth of the state still runs fresh in their veins. So, it is not a surprise that they are stuck in primitive politics and expect that others would wallow in such lows with them. This is just to let them know that the 2018 budget is for the people and for the growth of the state.”

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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