Nigerian govt keeps 2015 budget details secret a week after budget presentation

More than a week after the federal government unveiled a N4.3 trillion budget proposal for 2015, details of the spending plan remain a secret, and are not available to Nigerians, amid an unusually high expectation of the budget’s specifics as the government battles to minimize the impact of slumping oil price.

The Nigerian government has outlined a range of responses to the oil crisis, and says it will cut costs and implement measures to neutralise the implication of dwindling revenues on developmental projects and the nation’s economy.

But many Nigerians are eager to see in clear details how the government has responded, data only the budget could provide.

Publishing the budget immediately will also help investors, local and foreign, take prompt business decisions.

The expectation came amid concerns that not much will change in the budget, and that the government is likely to retain much of the usual expenses considered wasteful, while development suffers.

A pointer to that is the allocation to the National Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Courts as provided in the budget summary.

Instead of a cut, given the revenue crisis, the three bodies, categorised under statutory transfers, will receive a higher allocation of N411.84 billion compared to N408.69billion in 2014.

Another pointer is the government’s allocation of only N387billion as developmental expenditure for the entire nation for 2015, a huge reduction from N1.1 trillion allocated in 2014.

It means the bulk of the budget, as is typical with past years, may be used for salaries for politicians and federal civil servants, and for government’s administrative cost.

Secret Budget

More than a week after the presentation of the budget to the National Assembly, the Budget Office of the Federation has refused to make available specific details of the document to journalists, analysts, economists and researchers.

PREMIUM TIMES reporters who contacted various sources, including the federal budget office, and the finance ministry, for the document were denied access.

Others journalists and analysts also told this newspaper they were also denied the details, amid speculations the government may deliberately refuse to publish them online or in hard copies as done in past years, to avoid embarrassing reports and analyses.

Oluseun Onigbinde, co-founder of BudgIT, an online analytics on budgetary information, also said his organisation has not been able to obtain the elusive document for days.

Paul Nwabuikwu, the spokesperson to the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said he was neither in a position to make the document available nor explain why copies are unavailable to the public.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Bright Okogu, the director general of the Budget Office, by phone, he said the budget could not be put out because copies were still being corrected and updated.

He could not explain why the review was taking place when the budget had already been submitted to the National Assembly.

He said the copies would be published “soon”, and refused to provide specific dates.

Pressed to know if he would permit the reporter to stop by his office to pick a copy or get the soft copy, Mr. Okogu, abruptly terminated the call.

The Finance Minister, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, had, on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, laid the draft appropriation law before the two Chambers of the National Assembly on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

During her media presentation of the overview of the proposal held at the Federal Ministry of Finance headquarters, Abuja, the minister assured journalists that copies of the document would be made available to the public through them immediately.

The only document available publicly yet has been the same speech and analysis the minister provided during the budget presentation.

Members of the National Assembly, who are expected to deliberate on the draft appropriation before passage, also told PREMIUM TIMES they were still awaiting their copies late on Tuesday.

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Abdulmumini Jibrin, said he was not even sure the copies had been distributed by the Budget Office.

A senator, Babafemi Ojudu, who is on vacation in Lagos, also said he was yet to get a copy of the documents prior to his departure from Abuja.

Asishana Okauru, the director general of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, an organization known for its efficiency in collating federal and state budgets, said all efforts to get a copy of the budget had so far been unsuccessful.

“My staff have been looking everywhere for the budget since Wednesday last week without success,” Mr. Okauru said. “We are hopeful that in line with the tradition of the budget office, the document would be uploaded to their website soon.”


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  • Spoken word

    Okonjo is d biggest disappointment ever

    • Lai Aburo M

      You are the one that is a disappointment.

      • PureNigerian

        Did you read the passage?

    • Somna Oyabo

      Pardon Okonjo, she is just being over rated.

      • Spoken word

        Also a big failure.she has definitely failed in her mandate.

      • emmanuel

        Over rate really?

        She warned about Crude Oil budget benchmark in 2014, but those who say they want to rescue the nation and pretend they know better than the woman insisted on higger benchmark. They failed and have refused to acknowledge their ignorance and defer to the woman as a wizchic.

        The World knows her worth! We also do except paid agents of those who trouble Nigeria.

        • Onike24

          Which worth? She has no credibility left! She is finished, you think the rest of the world have our shoddy standards? Mark my words, she might as well retire to her village, because even if she goes back to DC no one will associate with her.

          • emmanuel

            You have. Ot demonstrated anything to show you have brains. Do you think she forged her certificate to get to the WB?

            We all know her the WB rushed her back after she served Obj government. Onike please yell us a little abojt you, Tinubu, Buhari, El-Rufai, Amaechi, Fashola the rogue, osinbanjo, saraki and Atiku

            Alsolet us knowwhy 2014 budget remained uptil May before the NASS passed it if not for the folly of those who thaught they knew more than her but thag backfired and you in your arm chair criticism refuse to apologise.
            I recall very well your stand and Mosaku then, includi.g the lame duck Wahala. Yeye fowls

        • Realnigerian


          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            …is the best answer for an “emmanuel”?

  • Bayo

    Let’s see how long the budget will remain a secret.

  • kwango

    A budget that have repeatedly had a negligible average capital vote of less than 23% surprisingly produced the transformation wonder that even the president doesn’t believe in. The Jonathan administration has transformed a former University teacher Jerry Gana and his friends to billionaires, transformed street traders and militants into fuel subsidy beneficiaries and arms contractors respectively. The president has transformed the formerly peaceful NE Nigeria into an enclave of insurgents and terrorists, transformed their economies into hopelessness and despair. Transformed young graduates into unemployment and penury.
    TOTAL ANNIHILATION OF NIGERIA through saTAN group. God forbid.

  • kwango

    They are ashamed of their word document template called budget. Let us wait and see how much they will budget for presidential feeding and Aso rock zoo animals this year.

    • emmanuel

      Lagos state spent N70 billion to run its state house in 2014, while Aso Villa spent N25 billion. What does that tell you?

      Those who proclaim they want to help are actually preparing to plunder the land by their body language.

      • Omoagunmate

        Tells us that you are a bloody lier.

        • Realnigerian

          Emmanuel is a bloody liar and a person not to be taken seriously. Lool

        • emmanuel

          You guys ate hell bound.

          Biko tell Gbeleyi to provide you figures.

          I kilometer road for N1 bilion also lies?

          Oshiomole threatened Igbinedion for his cut from Edo state IGR while his thieving son held sway. But he refused to tell the world how much is paid to the APC HQ in Ikoyi

          Hypocrites and liars APC. Quickly tell us what Amaechi used the N19 billion he withdrew a month ago, when FAAC and JAAC account allocation was done the day before?

  • the truth

    Cant wait until February 14th.

    • Spoken word

      That would be the valentines day massacre.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Smh. Only in Nigeria. Funny thing is some people will still vote this administration back in power.

  • MushinSpeaks

    Is it not a shame that they are looting our treasury and not sincere with us? Should we continue with this kind of government and administration that is insensitive to the masses?

    CHANGE cometh.

    • emmanuel


      The change we need now is how to put those trouble Nigeria where they belong, so that the present team can continue with their work.

      • Omoagunmate

        Funny guy, very funny guy you are. You must think that we are all mumus like you. Na wa for these guys sha, hear him, “so that the present team can continue with their work” which work? the only work they have been doing for as long as one can remember is looting the treasury. We are not going to sit and let them continue with that, no way. Change is coming in 2015, and your choice is either to join the train of change or get blown out of the way by it. As for people like you, we already know where you stand.

  • emmanuel

    This write up is meaningless.

    A budget estimate before the National Assembly is already in publjc domain.

    I advise PT to busy themselves with campaign for Buhari (anyway, this is part of the campaign – of calumny against Jonathan)

    • larry

      Dude, this ppl are talking about budget analysis , not summary as presented.

      • emmanuel

        This is not the time for budget analysis, if you have proper understanding.

        PT and other fifth columnist are only snoozing around for campaign issues to support their paymasters.

        This is just an estimate which is not obligatory for the Ministry to analyse until it is approved

        • Omoagunmate

          “snoozing around for campaign issues to support their paymasters” are you implying that there may be elements of the budget that can severe damage the government if seen by the public before the coming election? Snoozing around for incriminating evidence like this is the work of investigative journalism and the opposition, or what do you think they are there to do? help to cover-up corrupt government? Abeg leave that matter for one side. We want the budget details now.

          • emmanuel

            Femi Gbajabiamila can help you, hypocrites!

            Can be more incriminating than Lagos state house budget of N70 billion in 2014 and FG’s Aso Vila of N25 billion. What has your fraudulent investigative Journalist done about that? Why did you fake investigative journalist tell Nigerians that Asari Dokubo was in the SA Arms flight when he was not there?

            Compromised fellows in the media parading themselves as what they are not.

            How many sharp brains do you have to analyse budget? How come your APC guys ran us into a bad budget crude benchmark for 2014 against the advise of the wizchic – Okonjo Iweala!

      • larry

        I don’t comment on politics, I don’t care who win the election, all politicians are the same. But, I really need govt. Policy to make decisions on my business life ,delay and uncertainties will really affect me. For instance, 2015 tariff rate on importation of fairly used car will probably good for some ppl in line of that business. I bet you can only get that on budget analysis.

        • emmanuel

          This is what we are talking about, tariff on used cars. Self interest.

          Nigerians will get to the point of buying new cars more and workers in those factories will enjoy, they will pay taxes and we will not entirely depend on Oil.

          Guy, go look for another business as that line is dying off. We ate diversifying our economy, thanks to GEJ, Okonjo Iweala and Aganga

          • larry

            Dude, I used to be a great believer in project Nigeria but events proved me wrong. So, who is self centered among these ppl, gej,iweala,aganga and I doing legitimate business. Try to be honest.

          • larry

            Also, pls can you tell me how you will diversify the economy that is generating less than 4000 megawatts in 21 century.

  • Ogom

    Government Magic.. Tell me the name now

  • Yusuf

    What do U expect from a criminal syndicate

  • favourtalk

    Nigeria is in it state of dilemma because of GEJ mismanagement and misuse of Nigeria property and wealth but we are still here enduring the wickedness he brought on us. We need a change and not just a clueless man again

  • Spoken word

    You can run but you cannot hide.we will get you all soon.

  • Ette

    This kindergarten government is crashing our beloved country. The corrupt messenger of Breton institutions, Okonjo-Iweala has finally caused the collapse of our economy in fulfillment of their wicked agenda. May God deal with them the way they have been dealing with Nigerians. Amen.

    • emmanuel

      My Nigeria economy is not collapsed evil one.

      I read price of Rice crashed in Plateau state – diversified economy through Rice farming engineered by Jonathan and the woman. May God cause your family economy to collapse forever for unjustly hounding these people!

      Staff who work in car Assembly plants in Nigeria now earn income, pay taxes and feed their families against previous open form M, a single clearing agent bring in hundrsds of cars and case closed.

      You will never know peace in your failing life. Bastard!