2018 Budget: PDP Reps plan protest against Buhari

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus of the house of representatives on Tuesday held a meeting to stage a protest against President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a move to foil the protest, the lower chamber of the national assembly held a closed-door session that lasted over an hour.

Although the issues discussed at the session were not made public, we gathered that the leadership of the house pleaded with the PDP lawmakers to shelve their protest.

The aggrieved lawmakers held their own meeting which lasted about 45 minutes. Their grievance was said to be the alleged poor implementation of the 2017 budget.

Some of the placards found with the lawmakers read: ‘Change the Change’, ‘Our Mumu Don Do, ‘Save Nigerians, Implement Capital Projects’, among others.

On Thursday, some lawmakers protested on the floor of the house after Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, read Buhari’s letter on laying the 2018 budget proposal. After Dogara had read the letter, the screams of “no, no” were heard.

He said at the session that with a benchmark of 45 dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.

“With the economic recovery made so far, it is clear that we made the right decisions.

“And I urge you all to support the Federal Government’s policies towards economic recovery,’’ he said.

Mr. Buhari said the government would continue to develop infrastructure and increase investments in agriculture to attain food security and reduce importation.

He added that while the Federal Government was committed to identifying alternative means of funding new projects, there was need to continue to pursue public private partnership, to provide more infrastructure in the country.

According to him, the Federal Government has been able to construct or rehabilitate about 776-kilometer roads in 2017.

The president said the construction of Abuja metroline had attained 98 per cent completion, adding that work had commenced on the Ajaouta-Itakpe rail line which was abandoned for 17 years.

He said the project would be delivered in September 2018, adding that the country’s power sector would witness a turn around.

“The power sector reform is still working in progress as we have increased power generation but we still have some challenges in transmission and distribution network,’’ Buhari said.

He added that the Federal Government was committed to green alternative energy. (NAN)

Details later…

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