By Naomi Sharang
Abuja, Jan. 30, 2021 Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno) on Thursday, urged youths in the country to tract implementation of the social intervention fund of the Federal Government in 2021 budget to ensure its full implementation.
He said this while briefing news men in Abuja on Thursday.
Ndume who is Chairman of Senate Committee on Army said that the 2021 budget has many intervention for youths and the poor.
“As such you should follow your money,” he said.
While observing that the 2020 budget has recorded high level of implementation so far, the lawmaker, however, said that much still needed to be done.
“So I’m urging the youth particularly, like now government has recently announced over N700 billion for intervention in various sectors that is supposed to be targeted toward indigent Nigerians and the vulnerable.
“Therefore, the youth, the President has done his bit by allocating such amount not only for youths but even the farmers, traders, you can hear about trader-money, you hear about N-Power, you hear about huge investments, the President has done his bit by allocating huge sums of money.
“It is now left for the beneficiaries; the youth, the farmers, traders and entrepreneurs to follow their money and make sure that the budget is not only implemented but the impact of that budget should be felt.
“People should ask where is the money for youths especially should follow their money to make sure that what they claim that they have done should be seen and the impact should be felt,” he said.
The lawmaker also urged the media to invoke the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to ” follow the money.”
“The media has a role to play. If an MDA has budgeted certain amount, using the FoI Act, you people should ask where is the money; what did they do with it.
“It is not only the responsibility of the National Assembly, but the civil society organisations and the media should hold government accountable for all monies budgeted for projects.
“Nigerians should demand for transparency, accountability and impactful implementation of the budget,” he said.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Ndume said that he was optimistic that the leadership of the 9th Assembly was determined to pass the bill before the end of first quartre.
“We are hopeful that the 9th Assembly will break the ice by making sure we pass the bill. Several attempts have been made in the last 20 years but it has not been successful.
” It is very important to pass the PIB. I am happy that everybody is on board,” he said.
On the discovery of crude oil in Borno, Ndume, said that “we are excited. But our major challenge is the insecurity. We are praying that with the new Service Chiefs, the security challenge will come to an end.
“We are eager to join the oil producing states. There is all indication there is large quantity in the Lake Chad region,” he said