President Muhammadu Buhari has raised concern over the National Assembly’s injection of strange projects and sundry irregularities into the 2018 budget. According to THE GUARDIAN, He made the observation at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, as he signed the appropriation bill of N9.12 trillion into law, after seven months of delay. VANGUARD and BUSINESSDAY also revealed Buhari saying NASS inserted N578bn projects. NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, THE PUNCH and THE NATION also discuss about 2018 Budget being hard to implement with NASS’ alterations saying Buhari accused the federal lawmakers of, among others, increasing the National Assembly budget from N125bn to N139.5bn, without any discussion with the Executive. The President also accused them of injecting 6,403 projects of their own totalling N578bn into the national budget while making cuts amounting to N347bn in the allocations to 4,700 projects as submitted to them. Buhari spoke shortly after signing the document into law in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President noted that many of the projects cut were critical and might be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation. He regretted that some of the new projects inserted by the National Assembly had not been properly conceptualised, designed and cost and would therefore be difficult to execute. The President said, “As I mentioned during the presentation of the 2018 Appropriation Bill, we intend to use the 2018 Budget to consolidate the achievements of previous budgets and deliver on Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020.
Uproar over proposed ranches in 10 states heads the DAILY SUN. The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has rejected the Federal Government’s N70 billion plan to establish pilot cattle ranches in 10 states. The group, which comprises Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Middle Belt Forum, said in a statement jointly signed by Senator Bassey Henshaw, Yinka Odumakin, Prof Chigozie Ogbu and Dr. Isuwa Dogo, that SMBLF objects to government’s decision to spend public funds to build ranches. On Tuesday, the federal government, announced plans to establish pilot ranches in Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara states and said it would shop for N70 billion to commence the project which it said would permanently solve farmers-herders crises.
NEWTELEGRAPH also reveals on its headlines that for the APC Convention, C’ttee bars delegates from Imo, Rivers, C’River, Others. The National Convention Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has concluded plans to bar non-statutory delegates from five states from participating in the Saturday convention of the party.