Nigerians support use of recovered loot to fund 2017 budget


Some Nigerians on Sunday expressed their support for the plan by President Muhammadu Buhari to use the recovered looted funds to finance the 2017 budget.

They gave their backing in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

President Muhammadu Buhari last week presented the 2017 Appropriation Bill before the joint session of the National Assembly, saying part of the 2017 budget would be financed with recovered monies.

About N250 billion recovered funds are part of the income expected to be used to fund the N7.3 trillion 2017 budget.

Director General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, had said N72 billion of the money has already been recovered.

“We are projecting N258.6 billion looted funds to be part of the revenue to finance 2017 budget,” Akabueze said.

In his reaction to the government’s plan, Lai Olorode, a former National Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission, applauded Buhari for the proposal.

“The looted funds belong to the public and now that the funds have been recovered, they are being recycled for the primary purpose for which they had been originally meant for; which is improvement in the welfare of the people through the delivery of social services,” Olorode said.

He said, “President Buhari and his team deserve commendation.”

Olorode, therefore, said that the budget should be implemented to the letter.

Toyin Raheem, the Executive Secretary, Campaign Against Corruption and Bad Governance, CACOBAG, a Non-Governmental Organisation, also supported funding the budget with the recovered loots.

“It is not wrong to use the recovered loot to finance the 2017 budget. After all, the 2016 budget is financed through loan.

“The funds cannot just be lying idle or end up being looted by other corrupt elements.

“Though, nothing has shown that 2017 budget will also not be financed through loan,” Raheem said.

Martin Onovo, the 2015 Presidential Candidate of the National Conscience Party, NCP, also supported that public funds should be used for public purposes.

“Public funds should be used for public purposes.

“The Federal Government should use all funds recovered from looters to fund the 2017 budget and mitigate borrowing,” Onovo said.

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