Senator ABE urges Governor Wike to show transparency in budget implementation… Decries flight Of Private Investors from Rivers
The senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, has decried the flight of private investors and investments from Rivers State.
Abe, who disclosed this while speaking on a phone-in radio programme on Info 92.3FM, Port Harcourt, said the flight of private investors may not be unconnected with the lack of factors that make business profitable and comfortable in any given environment.
The senator said, “I have said severally that private investment, which is the key to actual economic development of any society, is not flowing into Rivers State.
“On the contrary, it appears to be flowing out of the state, possibly because of factors that make business profitable and comfortable in any given environment.”
He insisted that the proposed cinema and restaurant the state government is planning to build, which were provided for in the 2018 budget proposal, should have been driven by the private sector.
Abe, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on FERMA, stated that getting the right mix of private investor-private interest and public sector-public interest is critical to growing the economy of the state.
He said, “So, I think that some of those concerns need to be addressed and needed to be addressed in the process. When you look at the budget, you will see the government making provision for the building of cinema and restaurant at the Pleasure Park.
“This are things in my opinion should have been driven by the private sector and that money could have been used to fund other social expenditures.
“Getting the right mix of private investor, private interest, public investment, public interest is so critical to growing the economy of the state.”
The senator, who congratulated Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike on the presentation of the 2018 budget proposal, urged the state government to ensure that it did not just make the document public, but also let the public to be aware the extent that it is being implemented.
He said, “Let me congratulate the governor for coming up with the budget and to say that this is what we expect. But our past experience in the budgeting process in Rivers State under this present administration give us two areas of concern.
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“Firstly, the budget as much as possible must have citizens’ participation; the citizens ought to know what is in the budget and they need to be aware how those things are being implemented.
“From my own experience both as a lawmaker and my experience in the executive, the major problem with budget in Nigeria is not the document, it is the implementation, because at the end of the day a lot of things proposed in the budget are not carried out the way they were proposed.
“So, I think that for purposes of accountability and involve proper citizens’ participation, the state government should do everything possible not just to make the document public, but also let the public to be aware the extent that it is being implemented.”