Is the 2019 appropriation bill a scam?

It’s been seven days since the National Assembly passed the rather expensive N8.9 trillion appropriation bill for the 2019 fiscal year. The document is currently awaiting presidential approval, even as Nigerians continue to dissect it for details in the meantime.

One of the latest analysis of the 2019 budget that caught Nairametrics‘ attention is the one by a young professional identified as Laolu Samuel-Biyi.  The London-based, CheveningScholar recently shared his analysis on Twitter, basically arguing that the the entire 2019 budget is a scam.

So, I promised to review the Nigerian budget and point out 100 agencies that are useless and need to be scrapped. I’ve spent over 4 hours going line by line and I can’t. The whole budget is a scam and I’ll shred my passport in the end if I continue.

— ‘Laolu Samuel-Biyi (@samuel_biyi) May 6, 2019

Why this outrageous perspective? According to Mr Samuel-Biyi, the budget is a scam because most of the allocations to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) are absolutely unnecessary/questionable; thereby indicating the Government’s misplaced priority.

He went further to argue that a simple glance at the 2019 appropriation bill document will show anyone just how misguided the Government is about governance/administration.

If you want to know what an MDA is doing or what a government’s priority is, just look at the budget. It is clear that our government don’t know what they’re doing across-board.

— ‘Laolu Samuel-Biyi (@samuel_biyi) May 6, 2019

He gave examples to prove his point: Samuel-Biyi, who was very determined in his “table-shaking” mission, went ahead to name Government establishments he doesn’t believe deserve the allocations earmarked for them in the 2019 appropriation bill. One of such establishments is the Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute which received a budget allocation of N9 billion.

Samuel-Biyi was also rather discomfited by the fact that the Ministry of Communication Technology and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Agency received millions-of-naira-worth of allocations just to build computer centres and buy desktops.

Bullshittu’s ministry ONLY builds computer centers here and there, even the Nigerian Communications Sattelite agency has 250m for provision of 250 desktop computers “for the purpose of conducting JAMB”. What’s their business with JAMB for God’s sake?

— ‘Laolu Samuel-Biyi (@samuel_biyi) May 6, 2019

Allocation for the Ministry of Budget and Planning is probably the biggest scam! Mr Samuel-Biyi questioned why the Ministry of Budget and Planning needs N2 billion to fund “sporting activities”. We are here at Nairametrics questioning the same thing too.

Come to think of it, what is the relationship between Budget and Planning with sporting activities? Is the Ministry set to organise the next Africa Cup of Nations? Oh well, there you have it! We shall be watching out for the sporting competitions lined up by the Ministry.

By the way, the National Board of Arabic and Islamic Studies has the same allocation as Yabatech. Enough said…

You have the headquarters of one National Board of Arabic and Islamic Studies with N4bn, about the same budget as a whole Yabatech. 60% of the budget of the agencies under the Education ministry is for “research and development”. Scam.

— ‘Laolu Samuel-Biyi (@samuel_biyi) May 6, 2019

A laughable capital expenditure: Mr Samuel-Biyi continued to poke holes in the 2019 appropriation bill by pointing out the fact that much of the earmarked capital expenditure (which comprise 30% of the total budget), will be all about buying cars, among other things.

French Language Village, Badagry = N616m. Arabic Language Village, Borno = N627m. National Business & Technical Education Board = N1.6bn, Computer Registration Council = N228m, National Library = N3.5bn… Why do all these things exist?

— ‘Laolu Samuel-Biyi (@samuel_biyi) May 6, 2019

This should really concern us all: The Code of Conduct Tribunal is set to receive N221 million just to furnish its office, in addition to another N154 million to build a new office. CCT also needs an additional NI billion for “governance reform” and “digitisation of operations”. Mind you, millions of Nigerians are unemployed and hungry.

Still on the need for us to be concerned, a Kano-based institution that has trained 2,000 people “over the years”, wants to receive N1.5 billion. Maybe this time, they will just train 2 people! Will you be the lucky one?

When I saw this one and their N1.5bn annual budget with them proudly saying they’ve trained over 2,000 people “over the years” (since 1975), I knew the whole document will drive me crazy.

— ‘Laolu Samuel-Biyi (@samuel_biyi) May 6, 2019

Based on these revelations, it is safe to say that the 2019 budget is probably a scam after all. It is, however, unfortunate that this is the standard the Nigerian citizenry have been subjected to overtime. There is no gainsaying the fact that we deserve a better standard than this.

Source: Nairametrics

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