Sunday, August 7, 2022

Soludo And Anambra State House of Assembly At Loggerhead Over Budget Approval

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There is a seeming crisis looming between Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the Executive Governor of Anambra state and members of the Anambra state House of assembly over the 170 billion naira revised budget presented to the state assembly by the governor on 19th day of May 2022.

According to the investigation by AIF Media, the state assembly is trying to observe all due diligence in ensuring that the revised budget meets up to the expectations of ndi Anambra.

But the executive seems not to be transparent. Most of the Commissioners are not ready to appear before the house committees to defend their budget. Those who appeared failed to give detailed explanations on the bogus allocations on the budget.

For instance, the ministry of works budgeted about 51 billion naira for the construction of about 220 km of roads in the state in 2022. The state assembly is questioning the allocation of about 51 billion naira for about 220km of roads.

The 51 billion naira for 220km of roads was lumped together. There are no details of number of roads, their location and how much is budgeted to each road. The state assembly invited the commissioner for works to explain in details, the location of the roads, amount budgeted to each road to ensure that it is evenly distributed and that every part of the state benefited from the road construction.

But the commissioner up till date has no answers to these questions. How then can you make such a budget in an administration that says it stands for transparency in governance?

Another issue begging to be addressed from our investigation is, how much does a km of road costs. From the budget, 51 billion naira for about 220km of roads places the cost of a kilometer of road to about 230million naira.

This is the major reason the 51 billion naira allocation for road has to be de-lumped. The state assembly has to name each of the roads and how much each km of the road costs.

The Prof Soludo led administration is dodging to give these details. Under gov Obiano a kilometer of road he constructed was less than 100 million naira. And this was a govt that was tagged to be reckless in spending. But the man who claims to be prudent and frugal is not giving details of his spending to the state assembly whose duty it is to check and balances the excesses of the executive.

AIF Media was told that the assembly is insisting that the revised budget will not be passed until all details are in. They want to help the transparency agenda of the governor.

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