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Is Nigeria’s appropriation bill a scam?

It’s been seven days ago since the National Assembly passed the rather expensive N8.9 trillion appropriation bill for the 2019 fiscal year.

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It’s been seven days since the National Assembly passed the rather expensive N8.9 trillion appropriation bill for the 2019 fiscal year. The document is currently awaiting presidential approval, even as Nigerians continue to dissect it for details in the meantime.

One of the latest analysis that caught Nairametrics‘ attention is the one by a young professional identified as Laolu Samuel-Biyi.  The London-based, Chevening Scholar recently shared his analysis on Twitter, basically arguing that the Nigerian budget is a scam.

Why this outrageous perspective? According to Mr Samuel-Biyi, the budget is a scam because most of the allocations to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) are absolutely unnecessary/questionable; thereby indicating the Government’s misplaced priority.

Basing his analysis on the 2018 appropriation bill, he argued that a simple glance at the document reveals to anyone just how misguided the Government is about governance/administration.

He gave examples to prove his point: Samuel-Biyi, who was very determined in his “table-shaking” mission, went ahead to name Government establishments he doesn’t believe deserve the allocations earmarked for them in the 2019 appropriation bill. One of such establishments is the Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute which received a budget allocation of N9 billion last year.

Samuel-Biyi was also rather discomfited by the fact that the Ministry of Communication Technology and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Agency received millions-of-naira-worth of allocations just to build computer centres and buy desktops.

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Allocation for the Ministry of Budget and Planning is probably the biggest scam! Mr Samuel-Biyi questioned why the Ministry of Budget and Planning needed N2 billion to fund “sporting activities” in 2018. By the way, all of us here at Nairametrics are questioning the same thing too.

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Come to think of it, what is the relationship between Budget and Planning with sporting activities? Is the Ministry now in charge of organising the Africa Cup of Nations? Oh well, there you have it!

By the way, the National Board of Arabic and Islamic Studies received the same allocation as Yabatech. Enough said…

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A laughable capital expenditure: Mr Samuel-Biyi continued to poke holes in Nigeria’s appropriation bill by pointing out the fact that much of the earmarked capital expenditure (which comprised 30% of the total 2018 budget), was spent buying cars, among other things.

This should really concern us all: The Code of Conduct Tribunal received N221 million just to furnish its office, in addition to another N154 million to build a new office. CCT also needed an additional NI billion for “governance reform” and “digitisation of operations”. Mind you, millions of Nigerians are unemployed and hungry.

Still on the need for us to be concerned, a Kano-based institution that has trained 2,000 people “over the years”, received N1.5 billion. Wondering how many people they trained with that; maybe three people?

Based on these revelations, it is safe to say that the 2019 budget is probably yet a scam after all. It is, however, unfortunate that this is the standard the Nigerian citizenry have been subjected to overtime. There is no gainsaying the fact that we deserve a better standard than this.

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Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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