On June 3rd, 2020, smack in the middle of a pandemic that’s kicking even the most advanced countries’ asses — Nigeria, of growing infection numbers and ‘mysterious deaths’, decided to cut its health budget to focus on a more important area: the renovation of its national assembly building with ₦27 bn.
Because where best to write ‘National Ass’ than at the top of a needlessly expensive and deeply unnecessary structure? (Somebody take out the lights oat the National Assembly when it’s completed and make this a thing? Jk, jk👀)
As you may know, no one has really given AF about oil (the bread, butter, bread knife, plate and side dish of the Nigerian economy) for a hot minute. This is because of the coronavirus, whose preventive measures have mandated isolation, leaving people and their gas-guzzling automobiles confined to their homes.
Nigeria and its broke ass, as a matter of urgency had to adjust its budget for the year, because the reduced oil demand automatically translates to reduced earnings. This is how Part 9257 of the Nigerian government’s idiocy came on display.
Last year, the government with the highest percentage of extremely poor people, okayed the renovation of the National Assembly building for ₦35 bn. It was a stupid idea then, and its markdown to ₦27 bn doesn’t change it now.
More enraging is the fact that the health budget, from a could-be-better ₦44 bn, to a downright unforgivable ₦25 billion. Our government, in the middle of a pandemic, whose initial isolation centers had to be largely funded from private hands, decided a ₦19 billion cut was the right move to make?
Thankfully, the amount of Nigerians that think the government has lost the entirety of its mind with this move, full ground. Here are some reactions on Twitter to the health budget cut:
Oh, did we mention the education budget got a cut from ₦111 bn to ₦51 bn? Budget that we could have shocked by sharing the money for this renovation around key sectors. Nonsense and ingredient.
If you can, let the discontent in your voice be heard. Speak out against the government’s move on social media or anywhere you have some influence and while doing so, go a few decibels higher to spread the word on how #justiceforvictims of rape in Nigeria can be enforced.