President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into alleged discrepancies in the country’s 2016 budget, ordering that all errors be resolved promptly.
Following the suspension of deliberations around the budget by the National Assembly on Tuesday, the Nigerian government has been scrambling to clean up embarrassing allocations within the document.
Elombah.com learnt that a top administration official revealed that both the ministry of finance and the ministry of budget and planning were determined to effect necessary changes to the document in order to turn in a clean document to the National Assembly for approval.
The proposals for the Villa are just too ridiculous. From the N214 million proposed for a cable linking a guest house generator house to the gate with another sum of N322 million for cable to the drivers’ restroom to N619 million allocated for the installation of electrical lighting and fittings to yet another N372 million for the installation of electrical distribution boards, the whole thing is very disturbing. But that sort of tardiness and frivolous spending are everywhere in the budget where you find scandalous sums of money voted for tables, chairs, cutleries, website update etc.
To compound the situation, ministers are now promising to send to the National Assembly the “authentic figures” from their respective ministry which then means that each one of them would now be rewriting the budget already presented by the president! But such ridiculous, even if panicky, reaction is understandable: Some of the items in the 2016 budget are so shameful that you wonder how a very important document could be treated with such carelessness.
I cannot remember the last time I agreed on any issue with the Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose but I totally concur with his summation that the 2016 budget bill is a national embarrassment. A general overview reveals several issues which border on questionable purchases, curious consultancy services, seeming duplication of sub-heads, votes for projects already completed etc. The total for some of the ministries also come without the specific detailed projects. In the Ministry of Transportation, for instance, of the sum of N202 billion voted for capitals projects, only N146.67 billion was provided with detailed projects. The same goes for the ministry of agriculture and many others. == OLUSEGUN ADENIYI
SUMMARIZED FROM PREMIUM TIMES:
Different prices were quoted by different government establishments for a unit of Toyota Hilux van as follows:
N5,700,000 by the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency;
N6,500,000 by Federal Government Girls’ College Owerri;
N7,500,000 by the Ministry of Technology, Akure;
N8,855,000 by the Federal Government Girls’ College, Gumi
N9,178,142 by Federal Government Girls’ College Umuahia.
N10,000,000 by Federal Government College, Ezzamgbo, Abakaliki
N11,147,675 by the Federal Technical College Lassa;
N12,888,016 by the Ministry of Health;
N13,500,000 by the Federal Government College, Okigwe;
N15,970,515 by the Foreign Service Academy;
N26,600,000 by the Office of the National Security Adviser;
N27,273,523 by the Federal Technical College, Ikare; and
N27,660,000 by Federal Government Girls’ College, Kazaure.
Elombah.com had urged Buhari to withdraw the budget due to the embarrassment it had already caused the government.
The presidency had alleged that criminal elements within the civil service, referred to as the “budget mafia”, had “smuggled” frivolous allocations into the budget.
It remained unclear what sanctions the government would impose on those found guilty of padding the document.