How to “pad” the Nigerian budget and be a billionaire

Dogara Jibrin

The public row between the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and his erstwhile ally and former chairman of the House Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has provided a glimpse into how lawmakers routinely make billions of naira by inserting fictitious projects into the national budget each year.

Nigerians have been appalled at the scale of alleged fraud perpetrated in the National Assembly, as revealed by Mr. Jibrin.

PREMIUM TIMES’ digital lead, Emmanuel Ogala, who covered the National Assembly for years, compiles some of the spilled secrets that summarily highlight the many ways crooked lawmakers steal from the nation’s commonwealth.

Here are 11 steps to get rich quickly through the budget:

STEP 1. Get elected into the National Assembly –you can go to Senate or House of Representatives. It doesn’t really matter.

STEP 2. Be a good friend of the Speaker or Senate President, and the respective chairpersons of appropriation committees. That is the legislative committee that vets the budget.

STEP 3. Think up some flimsy projects – say, boreholes to provide water for your poor constituents. It is called constituency project.

STEP 4. Look for a government agency or ministry that can smuggle that project into the budget for you and lobby the target Minister or DG. Of course the respective committee chairman in the National Assembly must know.

STEP 5. Set up a company. Or get your spouse, brother, sister, or loyalist to register a company that can execute your chosen project.

STEP 6. Plead with the chairman of the Appropriation Committee to edit the budget and include your project under the agency or ministry that you lobbied. Because budget figures are usually large, this may seem like adding a cup of water to River Niger. If appropriation chairman refuses to play, lobby the Speaker or the Senate President.

STEP 7. Say ‘aye’ on the day the budget is put up for debate. (This step is not very critical. You can decide not to show up and it will be bundled with the entire budget and passed. Almost all of your colleagues are in it.)

STEP 8. After the Ministry of Finance has released funds, approach the head of the agency to award the contract for your project to the company in #5. Most heads may require their share upfront. You can’t trust anyone in this business!

STEP 9. The company gets cash deposit from ministry or agency. It is withdrawn and handed to you. You can share with anyone that helped the process, but you’ll sure retain the bulk of it.

STEP 10. Sink a borehole in your community with a very tiny fraction of the money and call national TVs to come cover the “commissioning of your constituency projects”.

STEP 11. Plan for next year.

Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts below.

This is just one way to pad the Nigerian budget. More to come.

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  • vagabonds in power

    Nigerians are wondering why Buhari has refused to act on the evidence based corruption charges against his Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai. And with Sahara Reporters Expo on the current Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Dambazau, Nigerians are perplexed that President Buhari is still silent and not saying anything. But what do Nigerians expect from someone who told the world that General Sanni Abacha stole no money belonging to the country in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

    What makes Nigerians believe that if evidence did not matter in General Abacha’s case, why should it matter in General Buratai’s case? Why should evidence matter in General Dambazau’s case? Did Nigerians forget so soon how Buhari allowed retired Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako who stole the commonwealth of Adamawa State dry not to be detained? Are they surprised that the case has since receded into the background?

    But for someone under whose nose $2,8 billion disappeared when he was Petroleum Minister in 1978, this ought not to be too strange. For someone who fails to account for the 100 Billion naira Petroleum Trust Fund that he presided over under the same Abacha, this should not be strange. For someone who led Nigerians in a lie that he did not have a house in Abuja when the contrary is true, why should this be news?

    • kamal

      Seems u r enjoying being a mad man.

      • Daniel

        The number of ‘madmen’ exposing Buhari’s hypocrisy on corruption is getting larger.

        I am one of them. We also have Junaid Mohammed, Sonala Olumhense, PT and a lot of former supporters.

        We have already banished the juju APC broom.

        Our eyes don clear.

        Wake up ooo!

        • monica

          Foool. first tell your god jontohing that at least now stealing is corruption. Am sure you do not know what jonothing caused in your life and that is why you are still writing this type of thing. Visit all countries of the world and see what your brothers and sisters are suffering and few people took what belongs to every one of us. shame to you people that they are using to fight back. i say shame to you people.

          • Daniel

            At least Buhari is commissioning Jonathan’s projects. Government is a continuum.

            Nigerians have started protesting illegal recruitment and nepotism in this government of ‘change and integrity’. Are you aware?

            Buhari’s cabinet members with overwhelming evidence of corruption are being protected.

            What does the EFCC need before swinging into action?

            Na only Fayose waka come?

            Only a lazy workman complains of his tools.

            Only a clueless a leader blames others for failure.

            Before, they said 100 days was not important.

            One year later, Jonathan is still on our lips, while the APC fritters good will of Nigerians into the trashcan.

            Then, it means Jonathan must have been a very good leader, because Nigeria gained independence in 1960.

            What happened to other leaders parading themselves as saints?

            My friend, check what time it is.

            We are in a state of confusion.

      • David

        My brothe help me ask them oooo

    • tundemash

      Wailer alert !!!

    • Rommel

      I hope you will not complain when they go for GEJ,maybe you are forgetting that touching those men can only be meaningful if GEJ is handcuffed and so far,the president has been keeping his word but for how long? one wonders

    • monica

      You are really vagabond and your life will remain like that. since you people does not see anything bad in corruption God will visit you and your life with corruption.

      • iwe paul

        You need help oh! Is this your measured response truly to what the guy said? I am really baffled. Thought you would address frontally the issues he raised. I think he raised some important issues that can only be counteracted by opposing incontrovertible facts and evidence

        • Truetalk

          He raised no reasonable point, he is indeed cursed, Vagabond that is truly what he is.

      • Truetalk


    • D_Onlytrue1

      There are no Saints anywhere.

    • Truetalk

      Go check yourself and seek help, truly dem don swear for you.

  • Another Fulani Lawal

    The House of Representatives have gone hard on the former Chairman of the

    House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, calling him a

    thief whose removal was purely based on “acts of misconduct, incompetence,

    total disregard for his colleagues and abuse of the budgetary process,

    among others.”

    The House accused the embattled former chairman of using his office to

    blackmail Ministries, Agencies and organs of government for monetary


    In a Statement by Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman of the House of

    Representatives Committee on Media and Publicity, the House said at

    several occasion, Hon. Jubrin have been called a “thief” by members who

    are dissatisfied with his dealings as Chairman of the House Appropriation


    • Daniel

      They are all thieves.

      PT is right on the money.

      Otherwise, how can we account for the budgets of 1999 till date ?

      Any sign of development in Nigeria?

      They go into private pockets.

  • Omoba1

    This is just so disgusting. Nice way Premium Times illustrated the charade. NIGERIANS WAKE UP FOR CHRIST SAKE

  • SAM .A

    Pa Obasanjo , no doubt not a perfect man , whether u like his gut or not ,he has added another feather to his name brand . A prophet , though a prophet is not honored in his time . You remember Farouk Lawal who took $3million bribe from Otedola , Pa Obasanjo was the 1st person to come out that the house members are thieves .Despite the authenticity of the case and the video on Utube read and viewed all over the world ,the ever corrupt Nigeria judiciary is still hiding the file in their court . Now fast forward , you see how the so called house members padded budget to become an overnight millionaires and billionaires , despite the fact that they sit down in the chamber looting all their own budget , distributing money in their committees Tell me one single law they have passed to benefit a common man on the street. Nigeria is taking one way road in the highway ambushed by this robbers .Good luck , not Ebele kind of Luck.

    • sab

      Yet he distributed ‘Ghana Must Go’ for the same ‘thieves’ to support his third term ambition. Yet he is a saint?

  • Hassan Lawal

    I insist….. even the former president,GEJ , will agree with me,…that electing PMB was the best decision ever taken by Nigerians of late!!!
    So proud to be part of it.

    • tundemash

      Dumbo has since gone home contended with allowing him to keep his loot, it is the wailing wailers whose “future” Dumbo stole that are still bitter about Dumbo’s loss; that is acute Stockholm syndrome!

      • Peter_Edo

        make that Acute Stockholm’s Syndrome with Masochistic Tendencies

    • blueeyedkitten

      mee too.

    • AryLoyds

      These guys in the both houses,be it sen or reps are robbers ,its sad that Nigeria is paying them to do nothing. I think the salaries and office benefits should be reduced so the office will become less attractive , just imagine if these guys were paid teacher or LGA chairman salary

  • blueeyedkitten

    this is the best from PT. LOL at no:7

  • tundemash

    Thanks to God, the PDPigs were shown the way out, else this would have been treated as the usual “family affair” and yet some cl0wns can’t see the change. At least the way the destiny of the wailing wailers were being “shared” is being exposed now. That is a step in the right direction; stealing is corruption contrary to what Dumbo Jo taught them !

  • Nazerine

    Thank you, Premium Times, our number one social media.

  • Ogom

    Clear, concise and (sadly) funny.
    Thank you PT!

  • Sunny0099

    Dogara or Do-garage must surely be impeached…..

  • Olu from South Africa

    11. Plan for next year…..12. THEN GOTO 3. Eish….lol. What kind of algorithm is this? For BASIC or C++ ? No wonder Nigeria is not running.

  • Arabakpura

    … And God will reward all who have gone through this road of defrauding Nigeria and Nigerians immensely in His own way!

  • Rommel

    I recall the case of then minister for education Fabian Osuji under OBJ administration and how he was dealt with,how come we never heard anything under the administration of the one who said stealing was not corruption?

    • Julius

      I told you once, you are making too much sense for us in here. lolz

  • The Nigerian quagmire

    At least with APC in power, we are beginning to see how the people’s money have been stolen, shared, diverted over the years. I hope for more expose like these. The more the people know , the less chance things like this will happen again.

    • GbemigaO

      There is something fundamentally wrong with us. Instead of addressing the issue that even APC people are also involved and there is nothing changing compared to the days of the useless PDP, you are only talking about corruption being exposed. Is this new to you? This has been there since OBJ days. Your die -hard support for APC is clouding you people’s judgement . The only reason this came out is because things went awry ! Did Jubrinn talked before ?. If Dogara had managed him well,do you think he will talk ? Guys , open your mind up ! Nothing has changed.

      • Fides

        What has changed is in the fact that, when all these happened in the time of Jonathan and others before him, we heard nothing of this humongous corrupt practices. We now have a president who doesn’t play ball.

    • G.String

      @disqus_TDKce3MtEF:disqus : IT IS SAD there’s more fraud and decline than change
      after Buhari took office without having a reform road-map and without appointing
      honest people as his Cabinet Ministers. Theft is now on the rise rather than getting
      nipped in the bud. The outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria last week
      called a Press Conference to bewail the millions of dollars of missing funds from
      Nigeria’s leaky treasury. To be sure, nobody in Nigeria has seen corrupt
      practices tamed as yet, and only a few see much progress in that path.
      Under President Buhari nobody has been convicted for stealing as at today –
      14 months after Buhari resumed office to huff and puff anti-corruption rhetoric.

      President Buhari is instead buffeted by a rogue parliament comprising thieves and
      a slew of criminals. And now, with a recently exposed judiciary mired in bribes and
      ignorant of law, Nigeria worsens.

    • Rosebud

      Do you really believe it’s any different on the side of the present APC leadership? If you do then l have a hotel suite exactly like Buratai’s to sell you in Dubai.

  • Ajayi Ifayemi

    People can hate him all they want but I daily thank God for Buhari. His singular action of refusing to sign the budget until he knows what is in it is causing all these ripple effects. This has been going on for so long, but every successive government had just played along. Thank God for a man who has refused to fall in line. Thank God for a man who has refused to accept the status quo. APC o, PDP o, it does not matter. All thieves or goats must account for theft.

    • dan

      My friend, Buhari signed the budget long ago and it is being implemented, didn’t you hear the minister of finance saying the other day that constituency projects will be implemented to the fullest? That they are in fact the closest projects to the people? Which one are you praising Buhari for in this matter. Jubrin is busting the bobbles now because he has problem with Dogara, he was not compelled by Buhari to do it. You should urge Buhari to investigate the matter and prosecute those involved if he has the guts before you start your praising.

      • Ajayi Ifayemi

        Yes he finally did after some of the most egregious ones were removed. Of course, I can bet that there is a lot more and I would also like to see the whole thing investigated. These people do not represent anyone but themselves only and the way they go about it it is appalling.

    • Nkem

      Obj during his time fought them to a standstill, even refusing to implement the budget. Remember that was led to to removal and prosecution of Fabian Osuji, Senate President Adolphus Wabara, Garba Shehu Matazu, etc etc.

      • Ajayi Ifayemi

        Of course I remember that. There are segments of our society today who believe that OBJ did wrong in fighting them to a stand still. We need courageous leaders who can always take these Vagabonds in Power up.

  • Myson

    President Buhari as matter of urgency should constitute special investigation in partnership with EFCC to investigate Budget Padding in Nigeria Federal government from 1999 to present. Budget Padding is economic terrorism against Nigeria people. Budget Padding is 100 times worst than Boko Haram. Budget padding is corruption and does not have statute of limitation. Investigators can be paid on commission from recovered money and assets.
    If Budget padding is investigated, Nigeria will be surprise that the country may recover between 7 Trillion Naira to 10 Trillion Naira from 1999 to present.

  • Okokondem

    You have to wonder, what will it take for Nigerians to rise up and take control of their destiny. Not that there was ever any doubt our common wealth was being stolen from us by the same people entrusted with it, but there was ambiguity as to exactly how the pilfering was perpetrated.

    Right now, we have a clear understanding of how at least one aspect of what is obviously a multifaceted systemic scheme of defrauding the country is carried out, thanks to the whistle-blower and now ex chairman of the appropriations committee, Mr Jibrin, who may be doing so at his own risk to. The question is, will Nigerians sit back and allow him to be attacked and discredited for making this revelation, or will they take a stand as is done everywhere else around the world when people become fade up with the way their affairs are managed by those entrusted with it?

    In Nigeria, we often resign to Devine intervention as the only solution to our leadership woes, however, we must not loose sight of the fact that God also bestowed on us the knowledge, the wisdom and the fortitude to take control of our destinies. Again, what will it take for Nigerians to agitate for their rights?

    • Denny

      Because there are people who are blindly arguing against your position right now. They can support a thief on the ground of ethicity They forget these thieves used their names to steal this money. They also forget that it is only the family of these thieves that enjoy the stolen wealth with most of it starched away in foreign land to develop the economy of those nations. They are the ones that complain most about the dwindling fortune of the local economy which they quickly ascribe to the government of the day.

      I hear Buhari wants Ekweremadu out as the DSP because he is an Ibo man. So says MASSOB.

      • Julius

        Unbelievable !!!. You nailed it

    • Gary

      Please I strongly disagree that Rep. Jibrin is a hero in this matter. He’s merely a disaffected and growing crook trying to take others down with him for daring to strip him of his plum chairmanship.
      He and Senator Goje primarily handled the budget padding as Appropriations Chairs of their respective chambers. They broke the trust of their fellow legislators who had put them in charge of harmonizing the House and Senate versions of the 2016 budget. They were both mandated to remove the padding from the kitchen cabinet in Aso Rock only for Jibrin to add his own padding. Including the brazen act of scrapping funding for the Coastal Rail Line to fund pet projects in Kano and Niger States.

      Folks, please Jibrin is a con artist caught at his own game. He’s far from being a hero as he would have the public believe. I look forward to having him sanctioned if he’s unable to substantiate his accusations of corruption by the House leadership. The practice of earmarks, on its own, is recognized in the budgeting process for legislators worldwide. That is how they bring pet projects to constituents. The corruption comes in when the legislator also becomes contractor in executing the project. Let’s not throw the baby out with the dirty bath water.

  • egoigwe

    Well, you missed to state that it’s exactly the same thing that heads of MDAs do. They lobby Comittee heads and House leaders to pass phantom projects. We must realise that the crucial factor here and who without his/her consent such fraud will be impossible to perpetrate is the respective head of the relevant MDA. If such a Head doesn’t agree to the scheming, it would be practically impossible to perpetrate such fraud.

    Most times, it’s a horse trade, you scratch my back, l scratch yours.

    • Julius

      Indeed, you are 100% correct.

      • egoigwe

        Julius Sweetie, how’s life treating you? Good to know you’re keeping the faith and ‘kicking up’ deserved dust when occasion demands. Say a little prayer for us, just delivered one heck of a bubbly Maradona 🙂 Kindest regards to you and yours.

        • Julius

          Congratulations !!. Wish you the best, and the good Lord with be with you and the family always. Im happy to hear that and all shall be well. Thanks for keeping the faith also. . Just doing the best that I could and staying out of trouble. Hello to Mrs and extend my sincere congrats to her as well. Be safe and God bless !!

          • egoigwe

            Thank you Jules and sorry, really didn’t know how l missed your reply for so long. It’s Mrs that you’ve already congratulated but I will be sure to let Mr know you said “hello” and wished us both the very best. You’re most kind Jules and we wish you too the very best life has to offer.

          • Julius

            Its alrite Mrs, dont worry about a thing. Im so happy for the family. God bless and yes, hello and Congrats to the man !! I wish you the very best life has to offer as well. That was so sweet of you. Thanks always !!

  • Julius

    hahahahahahaha, as simple as A B C !!

  • Remi

    Help!! Can someone please educate me here? I thought legislating
    and oversight functions were the only roles of the national assembly. So, what
    business do they have with operations, as in say conceptualising, planning, design
    and executing “constituency projects”?

  • Harry Haruna

    Hnnn very interesting

  • Okokondem

    What you almost never hear or read about on these online forums is how any one of us plans to get involved in the fight against corruption, either as an individual or collectively. We spend so much time identifying already known problems without anyone saying how the society might get involved in fighting this cancer called corruption. Let me be clear as Obama would say, no one would come from outside Nigeria to fight to restore equity in Nigeria. That fight will have to be taken up by Nigerians, especially those living in the country that bear the brunt of of the effects of corruption. So, stop rehearsing and start strategising.

  • Emeka

    This is very educative, Premium Times. Budget padding requires collaboration and both the lawmakers, executives and civil servants all collude to enrich themselves through this scheme. that’s why nobody is sending anyone to jail. They are all involved. I will be surprised if the EFCC and ICPC budgets are not padded.

  • Gary

    Very true. Unfortunately, our legislators have managed to corrupt the process of earmarks through which legislators use their incumbency to bring pork barrel projects to their constituents. It done in most parliamentary democracies but not in the uniquely Nigerian way of personal aggrandizement. All a legislator does is lobby his committee colleagues and leaders through horse-trading to include pet projects that their constituents want and he can then claim to have delivered for them. And thus secure his re-election since he show his people what he has brought home from them.
    It’s only in Naija that the legislator involves himself in the award and the execution of such contract projects. Our people will try to ask the Pope for kickbacks if given the chance. The sleazy Jibrin character is now playing hero when he presided over this practice of budget padding until he was removed as Appropriations Chairman. He overplayed his himself by reallocating funds for the Coastal Rail Line for constituency projects, including a Film Village for Kano, that he slyly named after President Buhari; the his conservative Moslem constituents don’t want.

  • Ibukun Bandele


  • uduakomiri

    The Federal Republic of Kwurrption, wayo and wururu: welcome to Nigeria

  • favourtalk

    this time, they will regret this one. It is not jonathan government .

    • Broadway2

      Thank you

    • Olayinka Osibodu

      It started in 2003 on a small scale, just about tens of millions of Naira. Under Jonathan, it gradually moved up from hundreds of millions to tens of billions of naira. According to Jibrin, Dogara and his principal officers wanted to increase to hundreds of billions of naira. Jibrin mentioned 250B. Thank God for Buhari who refused to sign d budget. Nigerians now know why d budget was signed late. Our legislatorß are a bunch of criminals.

  • emma

    hmmmm nice one, just like that? so this is what has been happening since 1999 PDP government? God thank you very much for creating President Buhari and bringing him to lead Nigeria at this my time. God continue to keep him fit to be our president for 8 years. Even after his 8 years, God may you pick somebody like him to rule us and so on. God now i know that you still love Nigeria.