Edo 2018 Budget: ‘Is Obaseki Sick?’ PDP Queries, Accuses Governor of Budget Padding

The Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic​Party (PDP), has accused the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, of padding the 2018 budget estimate to the tune of about N4bn.
The state House of Assembly had on 21 December, 2017, passed the 2018 budget appropriation bill of N150.09bn.
The Assembly had increased the budget size from the N146.6bn presented to it by Governor Obaseki with about N3.433bn.
But reacting to the budget which has already been accented to by Governor Obaseki, the state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, described the increment of the budget as “padding.”
Orbih, who made the accusation while briefing journalists at the party’s state secretariat in Benin, said Obaseki should not have accented to the budget, having been topped up with about N4bn by the State House of Assembly, adding that his decision to hurriedly sign it into law made it a “budget of padding, duplication and deceit.”
“On 29 December 2017, just before the New Year, the Governor accented to the budget which he presented earlier to the State House of Assembly.
“Few days after the presentation, they passed the budget and even increased it with about N4bn and sent back to the Governor.
“The Governor did not even reject the increment. He quickly accented to it. The budget as it is today, has been passed into law for implementation.
“But looking at the budget as presented by Obaseki which he has since signed into law, you will agree with me that the 2018 budget which is now a document that in every sense, is regarded as law, is a budget of padding, duplication and deceit,” Orbih said.
The PDP Chairman, who further alleged that the Governor apportioned 10 percent of the budget to his office, also frowned at the appropriation of N1m monthly for the purchase of drugs for the Governor’s office.
“Out of this sum, 10 percent is for the Governor’s office. I will give you the breakdown so that you can understand the seriousness of the corruption that is going on in Government House.
“Again, under his office, he has provide the sum of N1m every month for essential drugs. The question one is forced to ask is, “is Obaseki sick? How come every month we use N1m to buy essential drugs for the Governor? We are forced to ask, what exactly is wrong with Obaseki?”
Orbih said the Governor should come out and tell the people of the state the nature of his ailment in order to profer solution or he should stop wasting the state’s funds.
“There is no doubt that Edo people are experiencing a very hard times. At the time most people are finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet, the APC government led by Governor Obaseki is still wasting state funds on frivolous things.
“He has also voted N4bn as security vote. This is a state where crime rates have become unprecedented.” he said.
He lamented that the State​ Government has also earmarked the sum of N134m for water fountain, with an extra N10m set aside for its maintainance, when there is no water for the citizens of the State to drink.
He said Obaseki voted over N2.5bn for protocol and entertainment, noting that, that is not the kind of Governor the people of the state voted for.
Orbih also faulted what he called the abandonment of the newly built Central Hospital and its constant allocation of funds to it.
“It is going to two years now, the then Governor, Oshiomhole invited the President to come and commission the ward. He told the whole world that it was going to provide services for the people of this state and that even those who are not from Edo State that instead of travelling out of the country to seek medical help, they will have every reason to come to the hospital becaus they are going to make it a centre of excellence.
“That hospital was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari. You be shocked to know that since that hospital was opened, not even one single patient has been admitted.
“The place is under lock and key. Last year, they voted money for completion of the project that was already completed and commissioned by Buhari. This year, he has provided N469m for provision of equipment and construction of new accident and emergency ward,” he alleges.
Reacting to the allegations, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication, Crusoe Osagie, said that the PDP couldn’t appreciate the plans and initiatives contained in the budget because it was still stuck in primitive politics and a system that glorifies avarice.
Osagie in a statement, said that the budget has been hailed by experts in the development circles, academia and civil society for its focus on fortifying growth, enabling sectors of the economy and forthrightness.

Author: News Editor

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