The N38 Billion mapped out in the 2020 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari for development did not go down well with the member representing Owerri Municipal/Owerri North/Owerri West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Ikenna Elezianya.
Interacting with the press in Abuja over the weekend, Elezianya wondered why such huge amount of money should be budgeted to develop the Northeast when the Southeast which was ravaged and destroyed by the civil war has never been given such attention.
He regretted that even when the government of Gen. Yakubu Gowon had promised to rebuild, rehabilitate and reconstruct the Southeast, it didn’t fulfill its promise, adding that subsequent government continued in that manner till date as the Southeast was systematically abandoned.
The Lawmaker fumed that members of the 8th Assembly from the Southeast had to push the Southeast Development Commission Bill that would have assuaged the structural and amenities decay in the Southeast since after the war but the Bill was killed.
He wondered the rational behind budgeting N38 Billion for Northeast in the 2020 budget when the Southeast which contributes more to the National treasury is left desolate and in decay.
He however opined that he holds no grudges for the Northeast but insist that what is good for the geese is also good for the gander.
“Looking at the 2020 budget holistically, Mr President has good plans for the country especially in the area of job creation but I also have problem with the VAT increase . How do you increase VAT when the people are suffering. What do we even produce in this country. I also have problem with the implementation of the budget” He said.
The one time Imo House of Assembly member pointed out that what we need now is increase in capital release so that money will trickle down and the economy will boom.
However when Daily Nigerian Horn contacted the originator of the Southeast Development Commission Bill, Hon Henry Nwawuba, member representing Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, he said, he has plans to introduce the Bill in the 9th Assembly as a Southeast caucus Bill.
He however noted that this time care should be taken while encouraging his colleagues from Southeast to join hand and lobby for the Bill when it is introduced.
Nwawuba said he pray for the concurrent development of every part of the country adding that we can only achieve that by being united.