In my mind there is more honour in saying “We had to temporarily withdraw the budget to make some necessary review and changes. We do not expect this to cause a substantial delay in the approval process. We are doing this transparently in the best interest of all Nigerians”.
That is the path of honour. It smacks of disrespect to think Nigerians are stupid enough not to understand that the outcry from the public on the more outrageous line items of the detailed appropriation bill (#2016Budget) was not the cause of this sudden drama. Pray, what is the big deal in admitting to making mistakes? Isn’t the budget still a “proposed” document until it is passed by the NASS? It is part of the process of budget review to proactively (or even reactively) make amendments. So, why the shame?
In the end the budget is still left with unexplained and frivolous line items, especially with respect to the State House section. It would be interesting to know what wildlife conservation is going on in the Abuja state house that’ll cost us N115M. Thank God the government is no longer spending N3B on BMW cars and SUVs. Another gain from the media chat. In the end, no net difference as a new N3.9B line item was added under “annual routine maintenance of villa facilities by JBN – N3.9B”. See for yourself “The Cable’s” review of the new version of the budget in the links below. I also saw the previous version of the budget, as published by BudgIT weeks ago.
I hope the president’s spokespersons and supporters are not turning out to be just as out of touch and deliberately condescending to the public as those who were there in the days of the PDP. In this area, sadly, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
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