So, the National Assembly made some cuts on some budget estimates for select capital projects.

The National Assembly had, while passing the Appropriation Bill, increased the figure from 8.16 trillion naira proposed by Buhari to 9.12 trillion naira, indicating an increase of about 578 billion naira.

That has elicited mixed reactions from Nigeria, including outright condemnations.

This has prompted the lawmakers to make clarifications on why they made the cuts.

On Friday, the two chambers of the National Assembly told a news conference that the decision to adjust the 2018 Budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari was to correct lopsidedness and imbalance in the estimates.

Spokespersons of the Senate and House of Representatives, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi and Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas, respectively who addressed the press conference, said that the number of projects was increased in line with the Federal Character principle.

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They argued that the move was to give sense of belonging to every geo-political zone of the country in the bid to ensure socio-economic justice, equity, fairness, and to command national loyalty.

“We took the decision to reduce the funds in some areas in order to ensure balance and equity in the spread and utilisation of our national funds,” they said.

According to them, the amount of the reductions made by the National Assembly “was unduly exaggerated as we did not make any substantial reduction on any project to the extent of affecting its implementation”.

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