Presidency blames “budget mafia” for controversial allocations in 2016 budget; vows sanctions

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The Buhari administration has been very embarrassed by criticisms that have greeted the proposed 2016 budget, and has vowed to deal with top civil servants responsible for smuggling frivolous allocations into the budget, a senior administration official within the presidency has told PREMIUM TIMES.

According to the official, those involved in the fraudulent padding of the costs of budgeted items, or wholesale injection of questionable line items into the proposed budget, face imminent sack.

The source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said top civil servants who have constituted themselves into a “budget mafia” were responsible for inserting over-priced line items into the budget, thereby exposing the presidency to ridicule.

Besides its huge deficit, the 2016 budget proposal has been widely criticised for its failure to depart from a well-known tradition of wasteful allocation of funds that characterised past budgets.

Several news reports have shown the proposed budget to be replete with over-priced allocations, repetitions of line items and spendings surprisingly skewed to the advantage of top government officials.

On Tuesday, a PREMIUM TIMES’ analysis of the budget revealed that the administration proposed to spend more on capital projects at the State House Medical Centre, than it would spend on all 16 university teaching hospitals in Nigeria.

The presidency proposed to spend N3.87 billion on capital projects at the hospital, which is only used by the families of the President and Vice President, their personal staff and few privileged government officials. The amount is N787million more than the cumulative capital allocation to all 16 teaching hospitals.

Our source said from the outset, the top bureaucrats, who are adept in “systemic corrupt practices” were bent on scuttling the President Muhammadu Buhari’s avowed financial prudence during the preparation of the budget.

“After learning that the presidency was considering a large budget of possibly N8 trillion in order to significantly increase capital expenditure, bureaucrats brought a proposal of N9.7 Trillion for overhead and capital spending even without personnel spending,” the source said.

“Of the proposed N9.7 Trillion, the bureaucrats planned to spend an alarming N3 Trillion on overhead alone, but the presidency eventually slashed this to N163B lower by 8% than 2015 budget which was N177B, indicating massive cut of some of the main provisions by the Buhari presidency.

“Bureaucrats also proposed to spend N2.1 Trillion on personnel for the 2016 estimates compared to about N1.8 Trillion in the 2015 budget. But the presidency also cut this down to N1.7 Trillion in the final estimates sent to the legislature.”

According to the source, despite efforts by the president to cut out the excesses in the budget, these “Budget Mafia” were relentless in their resolve to smuggle in dubious items into the budget.

“The situation and its fallout were so bad that it provoked the annoyance of the president who nonetheless kept his cool buying time so as to meet the target date for the presentation of the budget in line with extant laws and regulations governing the budget process.

“For weeks after the minister was sworn in, the bureaucrats kept planning on the old budget model, stalling the decision to use the Zero-Based Budget until the new Minister found out from the presidency. This stalling led to the waste of valuable time and sources said the bureaucrats had calculated that once time becomes of essence, the presidency would be forced to abandon the Zero-Based Budget.

“However, the presidency regrouped the budget planning efforts around the concept of Zero-Based Budget by early December when the Budget Minister now aware of the Zero-Based Budget took control and leadership of the process.

“Experts and consultants disclosed over the weekend that even after that some of the bureaucrats did not cooperate taking longer than required time to come back with revisions to their estimates that were recommended and ratified by the presidency. In the process many of the provisions already marked down for revision simply got snuck in, effectively pushing the presidency in the defensive in the backlash in the public arena.”

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  • Chris

    This publication is obviously a scam.

  • kevenreal

    The finance ministry is now firmly in Tinibu’s hands. What again is the name of our finance minister or is it more convenient to blame Emefiele; the Igboman. That woman is at the centre of the whole budget scam and she is fronting for Tinibu…. if we can call a spade a spade!

  • Gentle Prince

    They have started again o! Which one is budget mafia? Naija we hail!

  • born Great

    This government of change are ready to finish Nigeria once and for all.

  • Maria Darego

    You only get this point if you have a President who cannot read!!!! The “civil servants budget mafia” did not take the Budget to the National Assembly!!! The President did!!!! The blame lies squarely with the President and the Presidency!!!

  • Factsay

    Katsina wind farm budget is a wasteful corrupt loophole for stealing.
    Experts have confirmed that Wind Farm cannot work in West Africa.
    Why wasting money in something that will never work?

  • evidence

    The blamer /tourist -in – ‎chief at his finest ; blaming everybody but himself.  

    • The facts

      Don’t mind him he’s even blaming Babangida after 30 years for naira devaluation.

      • evidence

        I laughed hard at that one. Buhari is a clown and he has succeeded in turning governance to a circus show. ‎

  • Factsay

    Wind Farm dont work in Africa!!!!

    What is wind farm budget doing in our budget?

    • Comment

      “Shocking details emerged from the recently presented 2016 budget that the executive arm of government
      will spend the lion share of N5.87 trillion or about 96.5 per cent of the total N6.1 trillion. Then, about N205b
      (or 3.5 per cent) goes to the other arms of government. The Legislature and the Judiciary will get N115 billion
      and N90 billion respectively, Vanguard revealed. The breakdown of the budget also indicates that the federal government intends to spend N39 billion in running the Office of the President with major allocations going to
      car purchase at N3.9 billion; and, another N189 million to change tyres for specified vehicles in the Presidency.”

      ………….NIGERIA BULLETIN

      • Luke Ocho

        HOW THEN DID PRESIDENT BUHARI’S FINAL FIGURE REMAIN CONSTANT,
        IF IT WAS CIVIL SERVANTS WHO TRULY ADDED ALL THESE ITEMS ABOVE,

        WITHOUT REMOVING ITEMS BUHARI BUDGETED FOR IN THE SAME DOCUMENT?

        • Romberg

          He changed everything except the spurious numbers/figures. Yet he is looking for corruption elsewhere when it is right in the mirror in front of him.

    • 2000rexona

      @Factsay:disqus

      PRESIDENT BUHARI put himself at crossroads. He’s now paying for it
      in tons of disbelief he’s getting from his anti-corruption campaign which has
      been more ignored than lauded abroad. What’s worse, Buhari is being ridiculed
      as a man who keeps a thief at home but tells all his neighbors he’ll never allow a
      thief anywhere at all in the neighborhood.

  • Psalm Baba

    Hogwash and fiddle sticks, it is either the secretary to the state government and his financial team are competent or complacent, why did such a magu magu high scale embarrassment in the switching of Budget not happen all these years with PDP? Please, the truth is that their is connivance and complacency, let PMB look very well at his kitchen cabinet, at his adviser on senate matters, his secretary to the government, his minister for budgetary allocation and planning, his finance minister and probably at himself because in america such a gravious matter which they are trying to hide and treat lightly will make heads roll and the president will be the first until he can prove his innocence before a joint senate committee.

    • O’Jose

      …My people……it’s not looking good yet O……Buhari is losing goodwill……
      more than he’s gaining it…..and now, after 6 months…..he’s got negatives ……
      …….numbering enough to write a book……….from his blunders overseas…..
      to this huge suspicion…that he’s just another Fulani Islamist hegemonist…..
      ……and northern tribalist……but, that’s a smelly body odor to carry around…….
      if it includes jumping the window of parliament to forge BUDGET bills……..and….
      ….winking at the genocide of Shiite Muslims……..as well as murders committed…
      ……………daily by the mad and maddening Fulani herdsmen…………

  • drb2000@yahoo.com

    @psalmbaba:disqus

    Nonsense rant in Buhari’s presidency

    President Buhari is solely responsible for this failure insofar as he signed that budget as his deed.
    The law does not allow excuses where there’s a duty. President Buhari is the one with the exclusive
    personal duty. He is the one elected president with the duty to set out fiscal plans in a federal budget.
    That’s not the work of a civil servant. President Buhari is not permitted to delegate fiscal policy plans
    to civil servants. The excuse that civil servants will be held responsible for President Buhari signing
    a prodigal budget is sheer nonsense rant.

  • L.O

    • HOW THEN DID PRESIDENT BUHARI’S FINAL FIGURE REMAIN CONSTANT,

    IF IT WAS CIVIL SERVANTS WHO TRULY ADDED ALL THESE ITEMS ABOVE,

    WITHOUT REMOVING ITEMS BUHARI BUDGETED FOR IN THE SAME DOCUMENT?

  • Burning Spear

    Nigerians Are Criminals – President Buhari in London.

    “I love Nigerians, they are not Criminals – Swiss Lady replying Buhari.

    SHARE, SHARE, SHARE THIS VIDEO B4 WATCHING – Hope For Nigeria–unquote–Look here my friends the man Alhaji Buhari is sick pure and simple–a very serious Fulani mental case!

    • Buhari4Ever

      Nigerian are criminals!! Deri Orbuka, one of them was deported from Switzerland fews years is hiding in Yenegoa spewing nonsense online

      • egoigwe

        Doesn’t that make you, your dad, siblings et al all criminals, not to mention your grandma & grand dad & your kids? Do you really understand what you just wrote??? Or are you from Tchad or Timbucktu & not Nigeria???

  • Papa Oghworiodo [Warri]

    MY CHILDREN,

    I just came back from holy communion. I now see this thing. I see that you are all angry. It is okay, please. I know how
    you are feeling. No need to quarrel. You are feeling bad that your president is telling lies. It is painful. I don’t know
    how somebody can do budget of 100 Naira and sign it, and come and say the 50 Naira part of it is not his doing,
    but everything in his own 100 Naira budget is still there, and the final figure is still 100 Naira, after other people
    put 50 Naira on top. That is like a big lie. So I know how you are feeling. You are feeling that too many lies
    are destroying your future. It’s okay. You can vote him out if you are tired of too many lies. Or what else?
    If someone that is president can only organize inconclusive election and cannot prepare honest budget.
    What else? Better to start looking for another president before it is too late. This Buhari no be am.

    • Buhari4Ever

      Deri Obuka, hallucination will lead you into your grave. Presidential election was over almost 11months ago but you are still campaigning for sore looser GEJ. Find something useful to do with your life.

  • sunny

    the pro corruption/biafrauds are spewing rubbish on this forum .i see

    • IZON Redeemer

      what has the rubbish from Buhari got to do with Biafra’ This is how animals like u bury the stealing habit of buhari in your dirty regional skulls—that is if u have any—-Buhari is a National Disgrace period

      ————————Nigerians Are Criminals – President Buhari in London.

      “I love Nigerians, they are not Criminals – Swiss Lady replies Mumu Buhari while Nigerians watch in dismay .

      SHARE, SHARE, SHARE THIS VIDEO B4 WATCHING – Hope For Nigeria–unquote–Look here my friends the man Alhaji Buhari is sick pure and simple–a very serious Fulani mental case!

      • Buhari4Ever

        Deri Orbuka, you are really a mental case!!

    • woman leader

      Biafraud set of people, they will just come to dis forum to say rubbish

      • Olatubosun

        They no fit……. When they will not want to swallow mortal and join it with pestle.

  • Burning spear

    President Muhammadu Buhari has submitted a corrected version of the 2016 budget to the national assembly, after acknowledging that there was “confusion” over corrections to the version of the document he earlier submitted. In a letter read on the floor of senate by Bukola Saraki, senate president, on Tuesday, Buhari asked the national assembly to work with the corrected version. ‪“It will be recalled that on Tuesday, 22 December, 2015, I presented my 2016 budget proposals to the joint sitting of the national assembly. I submitted a draft bill accompanied by a schedule of details,” Buhari said in the letter. “At the time of submission, we indicated that because the details had just been produced, we would have had to check to ensure that there were no errors in the detailed breakdown contained in the schedule. “That has since been completed and I understand that the corrections have been submitted.

    • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

      So what is Buhari saying now? Trying to use propaganda to justify his stealing habits—-

      • front man

        Please reason before you comment on this forum don’t just post rubbish because you’re a biafrat monkey

  • COL HASSAN KILL ALL IJAWS

    Falana said there were also “certain leaders” of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that opposed his appointment into the government of Buhari because he was not a member of the party. “Of course, they are right. Certain people wanted me to be opportunistic by offering to backdate a membership card for me. I said, ‘no, over my dead body’. I wasn’t looking for a job. I was gainfully employed.” Unquote–That is APC for u headed by Buhari who yearns to fight corruption with corrupt ideas———forge a membership card for Falana–The same way the forged the Statement of Result for Mohamed Buhari¨

    Instead of Mohammadu Buhari -Now they balme civil servants for their own thieveries——–animals

  • Romberg

    Excuse, excuse, excuse. It’s no more PDP, it’s the bureaucrats. They won’t take responsibility for anything, even in the face of their lack of coordination..

  • IZON Redeemer

    Emperor Buhari has no cloths on–He is naked and all the Apes in APC are doing is to try and cover his nakedness up-for us–For the man is fake–a thief-who is doing everything within his reach to present himself as a born again demon in the class of Abacha–

    • Analyst

      The man cannot rule in 21 century. He thought people calling him “your excellence” is all it is about.

  • MilitaryPolice01

    Even the most prominent supporters of this administration are beginning to see it unravel, everyone is to blame for their woes but never them, they are never wrong and never make mistakes

  • Analyst

    Can old man Buhari now confess to Nigeria that he never review the budget before sending it to senate. Does that mean you only collate from various ministries and send to Senate. What president? Now you want to sack for your laxity.

  • Analyst

    Fashiola need 1.2billion for just furniture. In Ekiti when heard APC governor bought bed for 200million. Will Buhari sack Fashiola?

  • alhanbara

    What is the role of the presidency in the budget preparation, if they are not responsible for the fraud? So they simply collect budget proposals from the states, ministries, parastatals, etc collate them, add up the total and send to senate without reading or verifying the budget needs. What a country!

  • Walter Debosky

    This vindicates our opposition to the proposed budget, putting to shame the idiots who can’t think for themselves but would rather swallow anything from the APC gov.APC goons I call them!

    Proudly wailing for Nigeria

  • Mayo

    The government is just making excuses

    1) There is no law that says the budget must be presented by the end of the year. Yes, it is good to do so but if the President had said the budget wasn’t ready because his staff was vetting it, most people would not have complained. Are we forgetting this is the same president who took several months to name his cabinet?

    2) Secondly, even if bureaucrats had smuggled in items into the budget, the fact that those items went undetected shows that nobody ‘at the top’ went through the budget line by line. For a President who campaigned on ‘change’ and doing away with waste, he should have had a team to go through the budget line by line to find out if there are things that would negate his agenda.

    3) What about the items budgeted for Aso Rock and the Presidency? Are they saying the fact that the capital expenditure for Aso Rock clinic which turned out to be higher than that of all the teaching hospitals combined was also smuggled in, or the money to spent on buying BMW cars?

    Bottom line is

    a) The government should stop giving excuses. They should accept when they make a mistake and tell us they will correct it.

    b) This document also shows us that corruption is endemic and widespread. I typically found it amusing when any iota of corruption was blamed on GEJ. I used to ask my friends – will GEJ be everywhere monitoring every single person? If we want corruption to stop, we have to start with ourselves as individuals and refuse to do the wrong thing.

  • Kickboxer

    KAI…brainless Buhari & “Yariba southern almajiris & technically intelligentsia” would blame even their parents for giving birth to them than admitting they committed ofense.

    So now a WHOLE budget is now blamed on MAFIA?

    Only a masochistic investor & “haters of Black people” would take brainless Buhari & APC serious. Nigeria has never presented NONENTITIES in govt. like these APC folks…..

  • Otile

    Where are the idiotic_apes in APC hiding now? I mean imbeciles such as: Abubakar tundemash, burbank, mohstone, maria, guguru, babalowo nla Awosan and other forgettable dimwits? If this article was about Igbo they all would rear their ugly heads up billowing insults and complementing one another. Shame on you awon odale.

  • Olatubosun

    Why must he be blamed? Pdp did thiers nobody question them.

  • Olatubosun

    He knows who he is doing…… Leave him alone, let him do it……. Who want to advice Mr president on the budget? Is it pdp that ruled for sixteen years with no achievement or biafrans that want division…… Buhari is an honest man. We trust him…… And we believe in what Buhari is doing………….

  • excel

    Did presidential spokespeople release anything concerning this, No. That’s the problem with the media these days, this was meant to be an in-house thing and “source ” is releasing vital information. Who is the source? The source don’t want his name to be mentioned. Who is deceiving who? End time journalism. Only a some gullible people will fall for this, Yet wailer will blame it on Buhari

  • Abiola Ojo

    Only fools can point accusing fingers when the source of the information is not confirmed, whether it is true or not no one knows. All i can say for now is i forsee a Nigeria in this administration. Jesus was also condemned to worsen the case he was also killed for being good. Buhari, if the whole world is against you i promise to be the last man standing.

  • Olatubosun

    I don’t even know the problem of these Nigerians……………. They are just fooling us. We have not heard about the budget…. Pdp lie…………….. Whether you like it or not…. Corruption will be abolished

  • Excisionist

    Some people are playing the ostrich here. A massive fraud has been uncovered and they are sticking their heads in the sand calling the perpetrator (buhari & co) their saviour. What a shame. . . .

    For those of us who understand these people’s culture of corruption, it was expected that they would hide their intended loots in the budget. The leopard cannot hide it’s spots.

    Nigeria will never, NEVER go forward with these kind of people in control. If he is as honest as he claims, Buhari should resign. Judas Osinbanjo if he represents what he claims should dissociate himself from this scam

  • Ebaah Odibo

    Blame-game! Passing the buck; this time to mysterious ‘budget-mafia’. Truth is PMB and APC are in government. They should; if not wholly man, the bureaucracy, at least check it and the figures therefrom before bringing budget to the world. Budget 2016 is a massive evidence that critical government functionaries are not working. If they did, they would not bring such an embarrassment to the nation. Is it a case of incompetence?

    If is not incompetence, then the usual excuse can be invoked. It is PDP moguls and GEJ’s ‘egbesu’ and hand-over notes that spooked the budget!