Breaking: FG, NASS cut Health, UBE budgets by half

FG, NASS cut health, UBE budgets by half, approves 27 billion Naira for renovation of National Assembly complex.

The federal government has done it again by cutting the budgets meant for health and education sector by half.

On the other hand, the Buhari-led administration has approved an immense sum of twenty seven billion Nairas (N27bn) for the renovation of the national assembly complex in Abuja.

This was revealed in the 2020 revised budget that was approved yesterday.

According to the report by Vanguard, Universal Basic Education (UBE) budgets was cut by an amazing 50 percent, while the health budget is reduced from N44.4bn to N25.5bn, which is about 57 percent of the projected budget.

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On a figurative scale, the UBE budget is reduced from N111.7bn to just N51.1bn.

SERAP drags Buhari, NASS to UN

However, it seems a Messiah has cut to the rescue of the health and education boards as the Socio-Economy Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has refused to turn a deaf hear to this development.

SERAP has written a special appeal to the special UN rapporteurs in Nigeria for the Federal Government and NASS to stop the disbursement of the said 27 billion Nairas for renovations.

Part of the urgent appeal reads;

“Nigerian authorities also ought to show that the budget cuts to healthcare and education are necessary and proportionate, in that they must be justifiable after the most careful consideration of all other less restrictive alternatives, for example excessive allowances for Nigerian lawmakers, and excessive costs of governance, in general.”

According to SERAP: “Nigeria’s budget deficits are caused by excessive expenditures on politicians’ allowances and mismanagement.”

The humanitarian group added that “Nigerian authorities would only be able to commit to fiscal discipline if they prioritise cutting the allowances of lawmakers and the costs of governance in general, rather than cutting critical funding for healthcare and education.”

SERAP said: “We believe that alternative policies and measures, such as reducing the costs of governance, including the excessive allowances for high-ranking public officials and the lawmakers, would have been a more appropriate solution to addressing budget deficits, as this would increase the available resources for healthcare and education, which in turn would contribute to reducing socio-economic inequality.”

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Truthfully enough, these claims of SERAP can be affirm from the huge sum of money received by the law makers as salaries, allowances and other expenses.

What is the hope of Nigerians?

In other words, this barbaric acts of the Buhari-led administration shows the level of nonchalance and carefree attitude of this administration towards education and health sectors.

You will recall that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has embarked on indefinite strike at the onset of COVID-19 pandemic holiday.

The union is aggregating for unpaid salaries and unfavourable policy implementation by the federal government, yet the sector is being amputated by less funding.

Still on the education sector, many higher institutions in Nigeria has been described as glorified secondary school because they lack the basics of tertiary institutions.

Absolutely no institutions in Nigeria has fully automated library, those who manage to have at all has partially automated.

What about alarming rate of lectures-students ratio and overcrowding in lecture rooms?

The carefree administration will care less because their children and wards are far off in a strange land pursuing academic excellence.

That enough on the educational aspects for now, let’s say a little about health sector as well.

In this trying time of COVID-19 pandemic where many health workers are on the forefront of seeing to the end of this pandemic.

Many innocent families are being aggrieved because they have lost their loved ones to the hand of the merciless virus in their attempts to see to the health wellbeing of other people.

Their lives are at stake, yet they never abandoned their duties, they hold on still to their cause and what they believe in.

But how do our ungrateful government wishes to repay them? Less payment, cut in budget and allowances just to fulfill their greedy desires.

An ordinary building as been proved to worth more than the academic and healthy wellbeing of the citizens.

Where then is the hope of Nigerians? What then should Nigerians hope for? Surely, our dooms are in the hands of our leaders.

Nigerians will surely be grateful SERAP in her attempt to check the disdainful act of the federal government.

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