Fred Itua, Abuja
Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has refuted media reports that it inserted about N33 billion into the 2020 budget.
In a media release made available to newsmen by SDG office, said beside the approved sum, it was unaware of any other allocation approved.
It said the office doesn’t have such powers to insert huge sums into the budget as being alleged by some media reports. It urged the public to disregard it.
The statement read: “The attention of the Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on has been drawn to the story making the round in the media insinuating that the allocation to the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals in the 2020 budget as presented by Mr President was jerked up by additional N33 billion in the Appropriation Bill finally passed by the National Assembly.
“The Office wishes to state that the said amount or any other allocation aside the duly appropriated figure is not known to the Office.
“The Office also wishes to state that aside the opportunity to defend its budget proposal before the relevant committees at the National Assembly as prerequisites for the passage of Budget, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs has no power whatsoever over the review of the budgetary proposal.
“As such, the responsibility of the Office over the years has been limited to implementing the budget as duly approved and signed by the President, subject to release of funds appropriated for the different sub-heads.
“We therefore view the story and the insinuations therein as attempts to drag the Office into unnecessary controversies and would like to advise the media to endeavour to always cross check their facts before going to press.”