Leader of South East Caucus in the National Assembly and Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said the unity existing among senators from the zone had sustained Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President.
Abaribe, who spoke at the public presentation of the report of the implementation of the 2017 capital budget of the Federal Government in the South East, in Enugu, yesterday, said he rejected overtures made to him severally to replace Ekweremadu as the number two in the Senate, but he turned it down.
“South East senators are united; that’s why your son (Ekweremadu) has remained as Deputy Senate President. They had approached me severally, to say ‘is he the only one that should be there. But I know we have unity of purpose; we’re united as South East senators,” he said.
He blamed the unending fight between the Executive and the Legislature for the poor implementation of annual budgets over the years, especially on the issue of zonal intervention projects.
He also identified mismatch of what the people needed as projects and what the government wanted to provide for them as another problem militating against budget implementation.
The Abia South senator opined that the challenge was not really to put an item in the budget, but the ability of the executive to execute the project. He, therefore, assured the organisers that he will work closely with other South East lawmakers to create an opportunity for them to discuss the report.
Former Economic Adviser to the President and Director General of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Prof. Osita Ogbu, applauded the governors for making out time to talk about development, instead of politics.
He tasked them to do realistic budgets for their states rather than wasting funds on inanities.