With the aim of financing key projects, president Muhammadu Buhari has requested the National Assembly to ratify virement of N180 billion from N500 billion appropriated for the Special Intervention Programme.
The president made the request in a letter to senators at the commencement of Tuesday’s plenary. The projects include the amnesty initiative, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and the Public Service Wage Adjustment (PSWA).
The letter, which was read by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, indicates that amnesty will get a sum of N35 billion.
It reads: “The total recurrent expenditure requirement to be transferred is N166,630,886,954, while the capital expenditure requirement to be transferred is N14,208,367,476.”
A breakdown of the areas the money would be transferred showed PSWA taking the lion share of N71,800,215,270; amnesty, N35billion; mobilisation of corps members, N19,792,018,400.
Others include foreign missions, N14,667,230,014; Operation Lafiya Dole, N13,933,093,000; Nigerian Air Force, N12,708,367,476; internal operations of the Armed Forces, N5,205,930,270; margin for increase in cost, N2 billion; Presidential Initiative for the North East, N1.5billion.
The letter also shows that contingency and salary shortfall for the Public Complaints Commission receives N1.2 billion each, just as feeding of cadets at the Police Academy, Kano, and augmentation of meal subsidy for Unity Colleges get N932,400,000 and N900,000,000.
He explains need for more funds
The president said: “Only N20,000,000,000 (already fully released) was provided in the 2016 budget for the Niger Delta amnesty programme. Consequently, allowances to ex-militants have only been paid up to May 2016. This is creating a lot of restiveness and compounding the security challenge in the region.”
On the NYSC
“The provision for NYSC in the 2016 budget is inadequate to cater for the number of corps members to be mobilised this year. In fact, an additional N8.5 billion is required to cover the backlog of 129, 469 members, who are currently due for call-up but would otherwise be left out till next year, due to funding constraints.”