From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congressive (APC), has accused the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki of presenting a budget proposal that is full of deceit and duplication, calculated to inflict more pains on Edo people, by allocating funds to projects he claims to have already completed and commissioned.
Besides, the party claimed that the governor forgot to mention the current status of the N25 billion 5-year bond his administration successfully closed at a record price of nine per cent, which resources will be available to fund the 2021 budget.
The party made the accusations in statement signed by its Assistant State Publicity Secretary, Victor Ofure Osehobo.
“On a closer look, the 2022 Obaseki budget proposal, is completely unrealistic and duplicitously embellished with impractical predications, 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 else how does he explain the allocation of N21billion for government buildings and another N15billion to enhance the work environment.
“As expected, the Obaseki 2022 estimates is padded and this can be deduced from such spurious allocations like providing social and youth development, N5billion; technology enhancement, N7.6billion; effective fiscal and business-friendly regulatory policies, N4.5billion”, the party said.
It noted that the budget proposal included a N1.2 billion provision for water, which is non-existent and which the government has never attempted to provide anywhere in the state.
“This is as ridiculous as the provision of N1.5billion for
citizen re-orientation and social protection, and N9.2billion for public safety and security, which are suspicious and questionable, and calls for answers.
“The education sector, is worse hit as the governor, clearly economical with the truth claims that, ‘Children in primary schools in Edo State today now learn three times more than they used to learn with the old pedagogue. We have the lowest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria on account of our reforms’.
“Governor Obaseki has deceived Edo people for too long. They know that he has not employed teachers and that public school children are sentenced to sitting on bare floor in grouped classes with a school head, teaching all subjects, across schools in several communities in Edo State.
“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.
“We have it on good authority that the government’s plan is to postpone repayment of these loans and bonds and leave the future generation of Edo children under the burden of huge debts after its exit.
“This is understandable considering the fact that Mr Obaseki’s government over time promised to climb Mount Everest with bare hands. While we sympatize with the governor, we would however advise Mr. Obaseki to once again involve well-tested hands in the management of the state. Relying on a disabled legislative branch and a cabinet of inexperienced persons has proved counterproductive.
“The progress of Edo state is for all and as such, due care should taken to save ourselves from unrealistic and deceptive programmes, proposals and policies”, the statement added.