President Muhammadu Buhari came under fire on Wednesday, hours after he signed on his birthday the N10.59 trillion 2020 budget, as he offered too generous gift to the National Assembly: a N37 billion fat envelope to renovate the complex.
“It is my pleasant duty, today, on my 77th birthday, to sign the 2020 Appropriation Bill into law. I’m pleased that the National Assembly has expeditiously passed this Bill. Our Federal Budget is now restored to a January-December implementation cycle”, Buhari declared at the signing ceremony, surrounded by National Assembly leaders.
However, his N37billion gift to the National Assembly has incensed many Nigerians, especially with comparisons made about what the fund could do in other spheres of national life.
Some Nigerians have taken to Twitter, virtually dragging Buhari in the mud.
“NASS building renovation gets almost the same amount as all federal schools.This Next Level development na wa oo”, wrote Kamaldeen Adesina.
Bilesanmi Quadri said: Nigeria Ports authority: total allocation 13billion, Capital expenditure for more than 170 schools 40billion. National assembly which houses only 109 senators N37billion for Renovation.. haba, let’s speak the truth sometimes, this is outrageous”.
Fabulous Mike chipped in: “37billion naira to be used to renovate a building which was built with 7billion naira, the annoying part is that the said building didn’t suffer any natural or manmade disaster..God epp us in this country”.
Emeka Eze also wrote: “National Assembly was built in 1999 at the cost of N7Billion. In 2019 the so Incorruptible Buhari wants to renovate it with N37billion.Infact Buhari should be added as Natural disaster @BashirAhmaad when are you guys selling the country?”
Kayode Ogundamisi, a Buhari campaigner in the February election was also scathing in his intervention:
Daylight Robbery is when over $100m is budgeted for "renovation of the National Assembly."— Kayode Ogundamisi (@ogundamisi) December 17, 2019
Is it even a priority to spend over #37billion Naira on the National Assembly?
The National Secretariat/Hospital in Abuja are in need of more renovations than any other National building.
Ukana Adeche also said his own: N37billion! APC done finish Nigeria money. How on earth you want to spend that amount of money ,no wonder dey kick dino out of the home plan work. But my God is not sleeping”.
Here are some other tweets that dismissed the vote as a misplaced priority.
If you're still waiting for NIGERIA to be great you're a BIG FOOOL!— The Revolutionist (@abuo_michael) December 18, 2019
60years NO LIGHT!#37billion
This is heartless using #37billion for renovations, this government is padi padi thing. Practically government is making budget for political class not for common Nigerian.— EJIRE (@AkindeleO1) December 18, 2019
Our refineries are not renovated— M Abba (@M_Abba_) December 17, 2019
Ajaokuta steel company is not renovated
Our road are not renovated
But Buhari approves #37billion
for renovation of National Assembly