From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas has disclosed that the Green Chamber’s major goal with the 2017 budget is to ensure capital projects and critical interventions are evenly distributed in the six geo-political zones of the country.
His assurance came as lawmakers from the South-East have criticised the spread of capital projects in the budget presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging that their region has again been overlooked.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Chairman of the House Committee on Healthcare Services, Chike Okafor said those who had pointed out the neglect of the South-East by the current administration were right.
“Well, I don’t disagree with the fact that we (Igbo) have not been accommodated in the scheme of things. I totally agree with the fact that we in the South-East haven’t been fully carried along in terms of infrastructure, in terms of dividends of democracy and even in terms appointments.
“The president had rationalised this before. But we are beginning to see changes in terms of accommodating us, let’s hope things will be taken care of,” Okafor stated.
Also, the lawmaker representing Onitsha North/Onitsha South Federal Constituency, Lynda Ikpeazu, who expressed worry that the South-East known for trade has no major rail project cited within it as listed by the president, said the National Assembly must correct any form of unevenness in the allocation of infrastructure projects.
“It (absence of major project in South-East) does worry me, but then he (President) has submitted the budget. It becomes our paper work; so we are going to look at all key areas and make sure no region is shortchanged.
“Definitely, he is the president and he has his own area of concentration; but, as representatives of the people, we have areas we should look into. So, we will look at the material before us,” Ikpeazu assured.
Regardless, Namdas, in an interview with Daily Sun in Abuja, emphasised that the House will concentrate on giving the six geo-political zones a sense of belonging with the high possibility of re-working the budget to reflect the federal character.