ARG To N/Assembly: Include Lagos-Calabar Rail In Budget Without Delay

afenifere-logoThe Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, yesterday called for the inclusion of the proposed Lagos-Calabar coastal rail project in the 2016 budget due to what it viewed as the project’s importance to the growth of Nigeria’s economy.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Kunle Famoriyo, the ARG said: “Such project will be crucial for crude oil and gas distribution that is currently being frustrated by vandals and also open up economic routes that will be very important for the West African sub-region.
“The Kano-Lagos rail project would have been completed by now but for similar shenanigan between the Obasanjo and Yar’Adua administrations. The two administrations have since been eased out of power but it has been the lot of Nigerians to bear the burden of their indiscretions.
“This recurring nonchalant attitude and egoistical shows constitute lack of respect by our political leaders for the dignity and wellbeing of Nigerians – who they purportedly represent.
“ARG affirms that this myopic attitude informed by negative politics should have no place in our national polity, particularly in the current administration, be it of the executive or legislative mode, heralded by popular pursuit of change”.
The statement said in saner climes where people-centred development is a pivotal political and administrative philosophy, a project of such magnitude as the Lagos-Calabar railway would have been given the necessary attention once it was appropriately brought to the attention of the National Assembly, even if it was not part of the original budgetary document.
“The National Assembly has the constitutional right to ensure that budget proposals are in line with the general aspirations and wellbeing of Nigerians. In what way has the National Assembly fulfilled this role if a project of this magnitude is deemed of lower priority compared to the so called Constituency Projects?
“The trend since 1999 is that when it comes to constituency projects, which have always been shrouded in mystery, NASS members are bullish in adjusting budget proposals.
“We, therefore, call on the National Assembly to have a rethink and redeem its public perception; else its anti-people view will further be cemented”, the ARG said.

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