The Senior Special Assistant (Media) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, has said that the Federal Government will continue to welcome constructive criticism of its policies, budget and expenditure.
Shehu disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday that such criticism would assist the government in fulfilling its promises to Nigerians, adding that “it is the only way the change promised the country will have a meaning’’.
He said that it was on account of this and in line with established tradition that the president directed that the draft 2016 appropriation, now before the National Assembly, be put on the website of the budget office.
He said this would enable Nigerians to read the budget with a view to making their observations.
Shehu dismissed the insinuation in some quarters that the presidency was misleading the public on certain aspects of the budget proposal.
He reacted to a newspaper story that said `2016 Budget: Buhari to spend more on State House Clinic than on all Federal Government-owned teaching hospitals,’ the Budget Office supplied a summary of the allocations to the various sectors under the ministry of health, which showed clearly that the published story was inaccurate.
He added that the budget Office has affirmed that in terms of both capital and recurrent allocations, the draft budget has put far more money in the 17 teaching hospitals than it did in the State House Clinic.
Shehu said the budget is a Nigerian budget and citizens reserve the right to examine its content and provide their own perspectives.
He assured the public that the government had no reason to mislead the citizens on the budget and on all other matters for whatever reason.