By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN CITY—GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday assented to the N159.3billion 2015 Appropriation Bill as passed by the State House of Assembly.
The governor who frowned at some media reports referring the All Progressive Congress, APC and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP lawmakers as factions, said “I think it is the height of abuse of the media owned by PDP leaders to keep referring to the activities of some suspended lawmakers as a faction. There is no question about whether 15 is majority against nine. But we in the executive branch will not be distracted with this attempt to misinform the public.”
Oshiomhole noted that “the Appropriation bill which had been passed by the House and which I have just assented to reviewed upward the size of the budget. We had proposed N156.7b estimate, and the House in its wisdom reviewed from N156.7 to N159.3bn. This is roughly an increase of about N3bn.
“Mr Speaker, if wishes were horses, there is a lot that we want to do in the area of infrastructure and other capital projects that we wish to execute. However, in making our budget, we have taken into account our own projected internally generated revenue and other possible sources of funding. The parliament has a right to review the budget. This is the seventh budget that I have the privilege to assent to, we have one more budget to do.
“I want to assure you, Mr Speaker, that in line with our tradition, we will sustain the tradition of managing prudently and costing our projects properly and ensuring that the electorate gets value for money. We will sustain the tradition of blocking leakages as well as pursuing our revenue drive in order to realise our budget.”
Reacting to the continued absence of PDP lawmakers in the House’s proceedings, Oshiomhole, said “In a democracy and under our laws, whether labour laws, any one including elected persons, they may elect to come to work or absent himself from work, our laws allow that because there is no forced labour, provided that he appreciates the full consequences of being absent from work and this same law applies to the legislative arm and the judicial arm.”