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Buhari’s Budget Mafia: Who benefited from Padding?


“We are only delighted that it was found out by the government of President Buhari before the 2016 budget bill was passed. Better late than never.” – Author

✳ Budget Mafia? Is there anything we will not hear of in this country? The government of President Buhari has implemented the Treasury Single Account TSA policy. This exposed the fact that NNPC had more than 45 bank accounts! The Military (Army, Navy, Airforce) had more than 70 accounts! Mind boggling!

✳ But when we thought we have heard it all, we now know that those civil servants entrusted with the drawing up of the budget, did not understand that change is here. They carried on with reckless impunity, padding the budget as they have done in the past.

✳ Budget Mafia was unknowingly, inherited from previous administrations as way back as the year 2000. Nobody would have thought that anyone would slot in so many zeros where they did not belong to, in the budget of a nation. Nor inflate the budget of an Agency and then have the audacity to later approach the agency to claim the loot. If you do not know who got the padding, here is an example as given by Rotimi Fashakin on how it works:

▓▓ “In 2000, just the first year of the latest democratic experiment, the senate committee on Information informed the NTA management that its budget had been increased and as such, the government institution should release the sum of N100 million for sharing among the members. 

“Coincidentally, the CEO of NTA at that time is now a distinguished senator. The Chief Internal Auditor pooh-poohed the idea that External auditors would easily discover that malfeasance. The Senate committee came with the idea of using a bogus insurance policy to conceal the graft. 

“The money for the committee was reportedly removed in four tranches of N25Million. The padding was done in virtually all the MDAs. Over time, the civil servants too did their own padding, in addition to what NASS often added to the budget.”▓▓

✳ And surprise, surprise, our holier than thou Senator Ben Bruce, has been involved right from the Genesis of Padding. We are now certain that there are other vices this government has inherited that will come to the fore as the days go by.

✳ We are only delighted that it was found out by the government of President Buhari before the 2016 budget bill was passed. Better late than never.

✳ Looking at the example given by Rotimi Fashakin, only God knows how much the budget Mafia has “legally” scammed us over the years. But their days have now come to an end. Baba will have none of it and so heads have rolled and rightly so. Let everyone learn the lesson that Change is here. 

God bless us all, everyone.

Lauretta Onochie, Laurestar

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