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Budget: Lawmakers frown at partial allocations

Some members of the House of Representatives Committee on Water Resources on Wednesday in Abuja, canvassed equal distribution of national resources for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Speaking during budget defence by agencies under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Rep. Odebumi Dokun (Oyo-PDP) observed gross difference in budgetary allocations to agencies saddled with similar responsibility in different geo political zones.

He said why will the Ogun/Osun River Basin Development Authority which has about four states under its jurisdiction  be allocated N860 million for capital projects and in the same national budget, some river basins have been given billions of naira.

According to him, the Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority was allocated about N2.6billion while the Benin/Owena River Basin Development Authority which is also from the South West Zone as Ogun/Osun was allocated N750m.

He said Chad Basin Development Authority was allocated N1.6billion, Hadejia-Jamaare River Basin Development Authority got N3billion, Cross River Basin Authority got N4.5 billion, Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority got N3.3billion and the Lower Niger Basin Authority is about N1.4billion.

“They are just doing it the way they want; the way they want to allocate it and this is basically to represent people because they are to serve the people under their jurisdiction so it should be equal representation.

“If you want to judge by the population, those covering four states should be given more; Mr Chairman, that is why we have the National Assembly in order to redistribute the wealth of this nation as it should.

“This is a draft from Mr President, Mr Chairman it is our mandate to redistribute the wealth so that every Nigerian will benefit from Nigeria’s wealth,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Rep. Olowookere Ajisafe (Akure-APC) said the allocation was unfair urging the committee to use its powers and ensure justice.

“I think it is unfair and I believe that this house and this committee at this level can do justice to it; we just have to.

“What special duty or assignment are they performing that this one does not perform? I think we just have to note that and do the needful,’’ he said.