PDP chides Gov. Obaseki over 2018 budget
By Abavo Kingsley, Benin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State Chapter has taken a critical look at the 2018 budget of the State entitled; ‘the Budget of Growth’ and concluded that it was one of duplication, padding, and deceit.
The Party speaking through its State Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih last Thursday in Benin at a media briefing criticized the Governor Godwin Obaseki led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
It accused the administration of insensitivity to the biting hardship tormenting the people. It added that the administration has abandoned governance so, Edo people should brace up for more challenging future going into year 2018.
On the 29 December, 2017, Governor Obaseki signed into law 2018 fiscal budget which was increased by the State House of Assembly with the sum of N4bn.
The Party wondered why the Governor failed to reject the increase if it actually meant well for the people especially now that resources are increasingly scarce foisting on the people depressing hardship.
According to the Party, at a time Edo people are suffering, the Governor is bleeding the State financially which was evidenced with the allocation of N1.5bn to his office, and N4bn as security vote when the State is not at war.
It noted that the same amount was also allocated to the security sector in year 2017 budget yet insecurity escalated to its peak that residents find it difficult to move freely.
Further, it said another N2.5bn is allocated to the central office of the Governor while N2.1bn is allocated for entertainment and protocol; N1m for essential drugs for office of the Governor. This raises a question about the health status of the Governor, the Party said.
Saying the Governor alone has taken 10 percent of the total budget sum; the Party said N4bn is allocated for Government House projects.
Meanwhile, the paltry sum of N50m is allocated to empowerment of the people who wants to start micro business, and N1m is allocated to consultancy, the Party noted.
It is an indication that the Obaseki administration is not ready to positively impact the people, it said.
Also, it noted, that while there is no portable water for Edo people, the administration has allocated the sum of N1.34bn to the building of water fountain, while another N10m is allocated to its maintenance.
For the King‘s Square and Ramat Park, the administration has allocated N250m; all indicating wastage while hardship bites harder in the State, the Party lamented.
According to the Party, the real issue; for about two years now, the erstwhile Governor, Adams Oshiomhole invited President Buhari to declare open the Central Hospital new Emergency ward; but ever since, it has remained locked “yet Governor Obaseki has allocated N469, 618m to this moribund project. Another N200m is allocated to the same project”.
The Party said the administration has allocated funds to only four hospitals in the 18 Local Government Council Area which it noted underline the level of its unseriousness to tackle challenges in the health sector of the State.
This is as it said the administration has only paid lip service to the growth of the education sector with the concentration of funds in the Iyamho University abandoning other State owned higher institutions.
“There is nothing wrong building a new university but there is everything wrong concentrating fund there to the detriment of others even as the Iyamho University is a private one.”
The Orbih led PDP lamenting that the Obaseki administration has arrested development of Edo State while the people suffers, opined that the 2018 budget is a failure