REMOVAL OF LAGOS-CALABAR RAIL MODERNISATION PROJECT AND OTHER ITEMS FROM 2016 BUDGET: THE HANDWORK OF ENEMIES OF NIGERIA AND NIGERIANS.
Rt Hon. Somiari Joseph Ogolo
While i have continued to believe that Nigeria is on the path of positive change, following the relentless efforts of Mr. President and his team to straighten our bilateral ties with other nations, diversify our economy, create massive employments for our populace and nip corruption in the bud.
Most of them seem threatened, if the current disposition of the National Assembly is allowed to continue unfettered.
The 2016 Appropriation bill which was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the national assembly has been characterised with controversies. Of late, was the alleged passage and transmission of the budget for assent to Mr. President.
Unlike before, the presidency considered it appropriate to go through every details of the document before assenting. Which is a step in the right direction and findings show some items were surreptitiously missing. The LAGOS-CALABAR RAIL MODERNISATION PROJECT and a few others.
As soon as the matter was highlighted by the FEC, after an emergency meeting that was chaired by the Vice President, came out with their findings, the Chairman of House of Reps Appropriation Committee, Hon. Jubril, was the first to hurry to the media to attack the person and character of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Rather than respond to the reaction of the presidency, they choose to single out and attack Amaechi, even calling for resignation if he do not offer a public apology to them.
I have read and watched several videos with respect to this imbroglio and did deduce the followings;
That the national assembly is playing petty and hate politics with serious matters that bothers on the economic development of the nation simply bcos they do not like the face of one person or the other.
I have seen personal messages sent by Hon. Jubril to the members of appropriation committee and another to Chairmen and deputies of house standing committees.
I have seen a video where Hon. Amaechi appeared before the House of Representatives standing committee on Transport and did talked about the LAGOS-CALABAR rail project.
I have also read the reaction of Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Chairman, Senate Committee for Land Transport on this subject, giving strength to the fact that his committee defended the project before the Senate Appropriation committee and got it included.
Therefore, i do believe that the budget was hijacked by a cabal, working for the leadership of the National Assembly to ridicule President Buhari and his cabinet.
The inclusion of this missing items back into the budget need not be over emphasized, when considering the thousands of employment it will create for people and the economic impact it will have on our economy.
I therefore call on the National Assembly to swallow its pride and personal interests and join hands with Mr. President in the journey to a more viable and prosperous nation.
Somiari Ogolo Esq.
Lawyer and Social Analyst, based in Port-Harcourt.