North-East govs reject 2021 budget proposal, say region short-changed

THE PUNCH Newspaper-Alexander Okere and Kayode Idowu

Governors in the North-East have rejected the 2021 budget proposal of the Federal Government over what it described as the paltry allocation of N45.3bn, out of a total of N13.02tn, for capital projects in the region.

They alleged that the area had been short-changed in the proposed capital projects for 2021 and urged the National Assembly to review the budget in the spirit of equity and inclusion.

In a communiqué issued after a meeting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital on Friday, governors lamented that the paltry 0.35 per cent allocation to region hard-hit by insurgency, other forms of insecurity and infrastructural deficit showed that it had been short-changed.

“This (budgetary allocation) represents a paltry 0.35 per cent of the proposed N13.02tn. This means that North-East is highly short-changed,” the communiqué read in part.

The governors further stated that the North-East region had been unfairly treated in the provision of road infrastructure by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, while bemoaning the slow or outright non-existent progress on the pace of work on the roads already awarded, and called for the immediate reactivation and review of the comatose road contracts in the sub-region.

They also decried the lack of budgetary provision in respect of the Mambilla hydro project in the 2021 budgetary proposals and called on the Federal Government to make the project a matter of serious priority by resolving all encumbrances around the project.

The communiqué read, “Forum critically examined the challenges of education in the sub region and resolved to adopt a regional approach by being deliberate on transforming education, especially at the basic level. Forum also agreed to form the North-East Council on Education.

“The forum said despite relative improvement in the security situation in the sub-region, the activities of Boko Haram, bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers still constitute a threat to sustainable development.”


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