On Sunday, the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress condemned Governor Godwin Obaseki’s 2022 budget proposal, which he submitted to the state’s 10-man House of Assembly last Wednesday, alleging that he duplicated projects to siphon state funds.
According to a statement issued by the party’s Assistant State Publicity, Victor Ofure Osehobo, the budget proposed by the Peoples Democratic Party-led government in the state is unrealistic.
Obaseki had proposed a N214.2 billion budget, dubbed the “Budget of Renewal, Hope, and Growth.”
The statement noted that Obaseki stated last year that his government had closed a N25 billion 5-year bond at a record price of 9% to fund the 2021 budget, but did not specify the current status of the N25 billion bond.
He said, “On a closer look, the 2022 Obaseki budget proposal, is completely unrealistic and embellished with impractical predictions, a development that confirms fears by many Edo people that this administration is obviously still trying unsuccessfully to lay a foundation for governance as Obaseki himself declared, 5 years on!
“The proposal again illustrates that Governor Obaseki has perfected the art of wasting Edo State’s funds on frivolities; how does he explain the allocation of N21 billion for government buildings and another N15 billion to enhance the work environment.
“As expected, the Obaseki 2022 estimates are padded and this can be deduced from such spurious allocations as providing social and youth development, N5billion; technology enhancement, N7.6billion; effective fiscal and business-friendly regulatory policies, N4.5billion.
“The proposal includes water, which is non-existent and which the government has never attempted to provide anywhere in the state, for N1.2billion. This is as ridiculous as the provision of N1.5 billion for citizen re-orientation and social protection, and N9.2 billion for public safety and security, which are suspicious and questionable, and call for answers.”
The party claimed that the governor’s position had a negative impact on the education sector, claiming that children in primary schools in Nigeria now learn three times more than they did with the old pedagogue and that the state has the lowest number of out-of-school children in the country. He claimed that the governor had no intention of repaying the various loans and bonds.
“The Obaseki-led PDP Government certainly is trying to use its ‘bogus’ MEGA programme and “phantom” technology cum public and civil service reforms and the creation of an investor-friendly environment in the state as cover and conduit to take loans and cancel repayments.”