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Regional News of Friday, 14 January 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

2022 Budget designed to loot Kwara treasury, serve gov's selfish interest - PDP alleges

PDP, in Kwara says the State’s 2022 Appropriation Bill was designed to loot the State’s resources PDP, in Kwara says the State’s 2022 Appropriation Bill was designed to loot the State’s resources

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kwara says the State’s 2022 Appropriation Bill presented before the House of Assembly last December by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq was designed to loot the State’s resources and serve the interest of the ruling class.

The party in a statement released Friday, January 14, by its State Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, noted that “the budget proposal was draped with baffling expenditure assertions, padding, bogus allocations for white elephant projects/programmes, misplaced priorities, deceptive projections, false performance claims and empty promises.”

It alleged that Hon. Abdulraheem Agboola who is the only opposition member in the House was suspended by the Assembly leadership to prevent him from participating in the 2022 budget debate so that their unholy dealings will not be uncovered.

“Kwarans can now see that Agboola’s suspension is a product of conspiracy between the Abdulrazaq led executive and the legislature to prevent him from asking questions and exposing all the ambiguities and fraudulent allocations contained in the budget,” the party stated.

PDP said contrary to the claim that it’s a ‘Budget of Sustained Reformation for Inclusive Growth’, there was no reformation on ground that the budget would sustain and also lacks the capacity to create any inclusive growth for the state.

The party condemned the N167million allocation in the 2022 budget for meals and refreshment for Governor Abdulrazaq, as revealed in a report published by a civil society group, Brainbuilders Youth Development Initiative. The PDP accused the governor of being insensitive to the plight of average Kwaran.

“How can any responsible government, at this austere period, budget N167million for meals and refreshments for the Governor? How could you do that when vast majority of Kwarans live in hardship and cannot afford decent meals? What exactly will the governor be eating that will gulp such amount of money?

“This has further got to show that Governor Abdulrazaq is clearly insensitive to the plight of our people and has lost touch with their realities. Kwara cannot afford luxury at this moment of austerity,” the PDP said.

It also criticized the N1billion allocation for the construction of Ilorin International Conference Centre, which it referred to as a ‘white elephant project’ that has no direct bearing on the well being of people of the State.

Similarly, the party demands clarification on the allocation of N300million for the Ilorin Master Plan which had already been unveiled by the government last year.

The Kwara PDP also queried the provision of N554million for ‘Adverts and Publicity’ in the 2022 budget estimates and demanded clarification from the government. It alleged that the government intends to steal from taxpayers’ money to oil its propaganda machinery ahead of next year’s general election.

“Under the Kwara Assembly budget, the PDP seeks clarification on the provision of N240million for ‘Grassroots Project’, N50million for ‘Exigency Programme Project Fund’ and another N120million for ‘Youth Empowerment’.

“The Kwara PDP notes that the government of Abdulrazaq has set the State on a path of retrogression with his ineptitude and knack for corruption, and this contributed to the low performance of the 2021 budget, with poor implementation of its capital expenditure component despite huge revenue inflows. Therefore, the 2022 budget as designed, will further impoverish our State and only succeed in serving the selfish interest of the governor and his men.

“Our party stands with Kwarans to reject the 2022 budget proposal and demand the House of Assembly to review it in the interest of the State. It is in the interest of Kwarans for the budget to be critically reviewed, splashed and halt the government from frivolous spending and further looting of our treasury,” the statement concluded.