How to pad the Nigerian budget and become a billionaire (Part 2)

Dogara 2aa

PREMIUM TIMES has uncovered another budget padding scheme Nigerian lawmakers and cohorts in businesses and the executive arm of the government have deployed to steal billions of public funds through annual budgets.

People familiar with this second strategy have been briefing PREMIUM TIMES since the first story was published.

This strategy is different from our last expose on budget padding which dwelt on how criminally minded lawmakers steal from Nigerian budget by allocating huge sums to themselves in the guise of ‘Constituency Projects.”

Several insiders who briefed PREMIUM TIMES said this second strategy does not involve “Constituency Projects,” but solely conceptualized to steal.

It involves lawmakers adding huge sums into the budgets of legitimate government agencies to get paid 30 per cent of the padded sum once the budget is signed into law by the president. Of course, the 30 per cent upfront payment does not stop them from forwarding companies for the phantom contracts.

“The lawmakers are usually in a hurry to collect their money,” sources knowledgeable about this strategy told PREMIUM TIMES.

This strategy which has existed for more than a decade networks the lawmakers with budget jobbers – mostly miscreants – criminally minded businessmen, and government officials.

The network consists of the following:

Lawmakers: Made up a network of the leadership of the National Assembly and
groupings of lawmakers in both chambers. Insiders say conceptualizing a padding project is as easy as network henchmen coming up with a sum, say N50 billion.

The sum is then split between both chambers. “Usually, Senators receive the lion share,” a source told PREMIUM TIMES.

Within each chamber grouping, leaders take the bulk before sharing whatever is left with others.

The ideation includes coming up with probable candidates for the actors in the network.

Agents (Budget Jobbers): As a lawmaker, it is highly risky to go cajole a government official into a budget padding scheme. It may backfire if the target official does not buy into it and one would have been exposed to evidence based blackmail and embarrassment. They therefore need an isolatable agent to clear the grounds.

Budget jobbers consist of a ring of swindlers, racketeers and touts. They have no known professional jobs and serve mainly as facilitators. They serve as agents of the lawmakers and courier information between every other member of the budget padding gang who has a reputation to protect. They are the kind of people who have nothing to lose and are willing to take the high risk of testing the waters. When a deal is conceived by the lawmakers, these jobbers are recruited. They in turn recruit every other member of the network.

Executive Arm Collaborator: To successfully pad the national budget, lawmakers need a cohort in the executive arm of government. Chairmen of presidential committees are preferred. Because these committees are transient, it is easier to obliterate financial documentations in history. Other target executive agents sort are heads of commissions or agencies, director generals or ministers. These executive agents provide the platform for the padding – they provide a legitimate body to receive allocation from the budget. These executive arm agents make their committees, agencies or ministries available to be used as a cover for smuggling the padded funds. They are recruited into a deal by the agents. Their participation earns them obscene amounts.

Money Bags: When this system of padding is preferred over constituency projects, the lawmakers involved are usually in a hurry to be paid. They have a standard 30 per cent of the entire sum padded paid immediately the budget is signed into law by the president. Because funds are usually not released immediately, a Money Bag is recruited.

Money Bags, usually high network business people, bankroll the 30 per cent upfront payment to the lawmakers. In return, they are made “contractor” of choice for the Executive arm member of the gang. Over the course of the year, the Executive Arm Collaborator awards the Money Bag phantom contracts to cover the 30 per cent investment and make huge profits.

Through the contracts awarded to the Money Bag, the Executive Arm Collaborator and everyone within his circle is paid.

“Usually, a little amount is left because the lawmakers come back from time to time to either ask for money directly or nominate a contractor for a phantom project,” a source said.

How to Pad the Nigerian Budget 2

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  • palo

    Well researched work. In my Agency, funds for virtual library and purchase of vehicles was smuggled into the 2016 approved budget. We did not request for new vehicles neither did we defended virtual library during budget defence. We contacted them and we were told to hold on that a contractor would be sent and that we have to manipulate the bidding process in his favour. Horrible system indeed. How do we move forward like this?

    • Bayo

      Please make further disclosure. We would take it up.

  • veranee

    All this is possible because virtually every Nigerian is tolerant to corruption. Bear in mind that no stealing of public fund is possible without other parties in that office being aware of, and supporting, it. Bear in mind that in every office there are accountants, senior accountants, chief accountant, auditors, chief auditor, and so on. None of these stealing can be successful without that chain of financial professionals being aware of it, and receiving their own share. That is why it is safe to say that every Nigerian supports corruption. So, we should blame our own collective culture of stealing which was planted by the military rulers. If we do not all support corruption, why are we not demonstrating against it? We can demonstrate against fuel price increase, for BringBackOurGirls, but not against corruption. Therefore, we are simply reaping the fruits that we sowed as a culture. Anyone that thinks this starting with Jonathan is not being honest.

  • Okokondem

    VERANEE wrote,

    “If we do not all support corruption, why are we not demonstrating against it? We can demonstrate against fuel price increase, for BringBackOurGirls, but not against corruption.”

    I couldn’t agree more. You have to wonder why the society is so tolerant of these revelations of outright theft by the men and women who have managed to put themselves in position of power with no accountability. Are so many of us not educated and consider ourselves knowledgeable of events around the world? Do we not see and read about what others around the world do when they feel misruled and disenfranchised? Yet revelations after revelations of all manner of malfeasance Nigerians simply sit on their hands, arguing and fighting one another over party affiliations, tribe, religion and anything else they perceive to differentiate rather than unite them.

    Think what you may about Mr Jibrin and what his motives might be in coming out and persistently speaking about this, he is a messenger, a conveyor of truth, and a whistleblower. We shouldn’t disregard what he stands for today because of what he stood for a year or two earlier. Nigerians have often flirted with the idea that it would take Devine intervention to steer the country away from the abyss, Jibrin might just be that agent of change…I don’t mean the other “change” mantra, I will believe that when I see it.

    • Dayo Ajibade

      When people protested that Saraki should resign, what happened? People can’t be wasting the time they have to work and hustle to eat for a fight they can’t win. A protest that doesn’t involve destroying valued national assets (NDA) or killing people (BH) is not likely to have any effect.

      P.S. : I’m not advocating for vandalism and killings.

    • revolutionary2

      AN ENLIGHTENED CORPS OF ARMED REVOLUTIONARIES IS THE ONLY FORCE

      THAT CAN SAVE NIGERIA FROM CORRUPT THEFTS THAT NIGERIANS ABET.

      IN 48 HOURS ALL TREASURY THIEVES, ARMY OFFICERS, CIVIL SERVANTS;

      ROGUE BANKERS, CORRUPT JOURNALISTS, POLITICIANS AND BUSINESSMEN

      WILL ALL BE VIOLENT PUT TO BED AND LAID TO REST IN PERFECT PEACE.

    • vagabonds in power

      He is a liar and a cheat like every Fulani man from Mali in the House and Senate are–rogues

  • vagabonds in power

    Goodluck Jonathan has built more Universities in Northern Nigeria within three years from 2011 to 2013 than any northern leader ever did between 1960 and 2013. The list of these universities include, Federal University Lafia (2011), Federal University Wukari (2011), Federal University Lokoja (2011), Federal University Kashere (2011), Federal University Dutse (2011), Federal University Dutsin-ma (2011), Police Academy Wudil (2012), Federal University Gashua (2013), Federal University Gusau (2013) and the Federal University Birnin-Kebbi (2013), before this only the Gowon and Babangida governments built up to four universities each while others established one or two between 1962 and 1988.

    Moreover, apart from the overwhelming and unprecedented investment in primary school education, through the universal basic education, vocational schools, and the launching of the special funding of the all-embracing education called Almajiri education -the very first in the history of northern Nigeria- the Jonathan administration took children from the streets of northern Nigeria and gave them new opportunities, whereas some elders of northern Nigeria who called western education “Haram” denied them formal western education but offered instead religious knowledge and USD 2000 Kalashnikovs to use as Boko Haram foot soldiers.

    Again on the very critical issue of the economy, some have attributed Buhari’s regime with stabilizing the economy at a turbulent time by using counter trade to keep the IMF in abeyance, but this was not the independent assessment of evaluators who observed that the counter-trade mechanism was abused to siphon public funds by converting Nigeria crude to laundered funds for cronies of the Buhari regime. Of course, this could not be scrutinized by the Nigerian press. Those who dared ended up at No 15 Awolowo Road in Lagos or other such detention centres created to silence critics of the Buhari government.

  • Ayodeji

    Kudos PT.This government is the most insincere Nigeria ever had. Where is the zero budgeting technique they planned to use earlier. Buhari is out to make some of “his people” – the Hausa/ Fulani rich this time

  • Emeka

    This is so horrifying!!

  • Political Steve

    Nigeria! We hail thee

  • favourtalk

    All i know is that, the country will move forward and Pmb has never and will never support the padding that happened in the national assmebly

    • George

      who supported Farouk Lawal or GEJ. You people are just too shameless.

      If Buhari Bingo is against padding why is he securing Dagaga

  • Shahokaya

    No wonder they employ / deploy everything to get elected. We must probe all the present and former members, including their collaborators in the executive if we are to be taken as a serious people. Thanks to premium time for fantastically exposing these fantastic corrupt persons.

  • Ashibogu

    I need to add more. Approved equal. It is the practice where an item is indicated to be procured but changed after contract approval. This is done as a result of collusion between the contractor, Consultant and Client’s Representative(Government Agent). For instance, the Contract can indicate that 2HP Panasonic Air Conditioner or an approved equal should be procured. After Contract award, the Contractor writes to the Consultant that he is having difficulty in procuring the Panasonic Air Conditioner and the Consultant should approve Chygo brand as equal to Panasonic. The Consultant then writes to the Client(Government Agency) informing it of the development. Definitely, officials of the Agency already aware of the scam approves the Chygo brand. Everyone knows that the price of Chygo Air Conditioners are no where near that of Panasonic. The price differential is then shared by the Consultant, Contractor and the Government Agency which gets the Lion share. Sometimes, the money to be shared can run into several millions of Naira if not billions. Welcome to Nigeria, the land of unbridled Chua Chua!

  • Julius

    These bastards need to be rounded up, line-up and shot.

  • blueeyedkitten

    Nigerian Budget: A yearly ritual for the elites. SMH!

  • OMOLOYIN

    Seriously, this is not a joking matter, and am sure that all the culprits will not go unpunished.