The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has descended heavily on President Muhammadu Buhari accusing him of inflicting pains on Nigerians and tasking him to sign the 2016 budget now.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja ,NANS president ,Comrade Tijani Usman decried the decision of the executive to review the budget as passed by the legislature ,noting that the action is a sign of insensitivity to the plights of Nigerians.
Part of NANS’ statement is as follows:
“It is in another attempt aimed at redeeming our dear country from the shackles of want, ignorance, illiteracy and excruciating poverty that we, as the keepers of good conscience of the country have decided to once more address you on lingering topical issues in the nation.
On Thursday, last week, the National Assembly transmitted the details of the budget to the presidency after initially sensing the summary or what many referred to as the highlight.
However, instead of signing the document, President Muhamadu Buahri surprised the nation when he ordered that the document be sent back to the 36 Ministries for review.This was made known after an emergency meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC which the president summoned immediately after he received the budget details on Thursday.
Meanwhile, as the meeting started at the Aso Rock presidential villa, President Buhari was conspicuously absent, leaving Vice President Yemi Osinabjo to preside.
As you are no doubt aware, I want to emphaticaly place on record that the Presidency and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) have identified have decided to play evil politics with the plight of majority of Nigerians. This is done by further suffocating the economy by blatantly refusing to assent to the 2016 national budget as passed by the national assembly.
With the benefit of hindsight, we wish to remind you that when the budget was first sent to the lawmakers, it was stressed that a presidential aide, Sen. Ita Enang was the brain behind the presentation of a parrallel version of the budget after the President laid an original copy. Yet, President Muhammad Buhari failed to make him to face the music.
As if that was not enough insult for a government that rode on the shoulders of popular goodwill to clinch power in the 2015 elections, one minister after the other took to their respective committees in the national assembly to denounce the figures contained therein.
We noted that with keen restraint so as not to derail the process that we thought was going to sail smoothly consequent upon which the country will be better off for it. But to our greatest chagrin, the hunger of our people çould not be asuaged neither will their thirst be banished.
While all that blame game lasted, the national assembly in its wisdom thought it wise to do a thorough job on the document based on the predicament we have found ourselves in, available resources or realistic projections that the country could afford and finally, the document was released with modifications.
Even as NASS comprehensively studied the situation on ground, engaged key stakeholders while it retained possession of the appropriation bill in line with the constitutional provision, hardly did Nigerians know that the Executive has perfected plans and indeed planted several booby traps along the line in order to further truncate the last breathing space left for the already traumatised people.
I don’t want to bow you down with what Nigerians are going through hence you are all aware of the state of the nation since the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration took over the mantle of leadership from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). However permit me to point out a few of such instances.
Since the beginning of this year, prices of major essential goods and services have continued to rise to a crescendo with no concrete step taken to reverse the illicit trend. This is unacceptable. The fact that the executive have budgets for such goods which is funded from taxpayers money does not mean that the rest of us must be going to bed with empty stomachs. We will resist this trend.
Again, you are all witnesses to the tremendous pains we are going through arising from fuel scarcity. Most Nigerians are now forced to relocate to filling stations to pass their nights in order to get fuel for their vehicles. Never in the history of Nigeria had we witnessed such scarcity in this propensity.The commodity is now sold at about 50% or more above rregulated pump ppriceacross the federation including Abuja, the seat of government. Transportation cost have raised to an unimaginable level. Yet, the minister of state for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu recently insulted the sensitivity of Nigerians by calling on them to go to magic doctors to fix the problem. It is unbelievable when one discovers that inspite of this biting scarcity, President Muhammad Buhari has not deemed it appropriate to address the nation either as her President or substantive Petroleum Minister.
Once more, let me remind us that, even in the education sector, the president has created a monumental confusion by his unilateral removal of governing boards without recourse to the extant laws. Even though he has rescinded part of that infamous decision, confusion still lingers across the length and breadth of the academic landscape. It is a mistake that shouldn’t have occurred in the first place.
It is also worthy of note that, inadequate electricity which this administration used as a talking point or rather PDP demarketing aparatus, to catapult herself to power has been relegated to the back ground. It is under this administration that Nigeria, I believe, is going to enter the Guiness Book of Records for been the first country in the world to produce zero megawatts of the comunity for several hours. Painfully, this is the time Nigerians are whiped into paying unsubstantiated high tarif for the service the state has not provided.
On water supply in our institutions, towns and homes or even farms for sanitation and irrigation purposes have been relegated to the background. As we speak now, the future of our fellow students at the University of Lagos is under threat as the school is now under lock and key due to insensitivity of the system to run our institutions and by extension the nation, through the right path”.
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