More Heads To Roll Over Budget Blunder | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


More Heads To Roll Over Budget Blunder

Posted: Feb 18, 2016 at 3:29 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Celestine Amoke, Lagos
President Muhammadu Buhari has taken further steps towards addressing the controversy surrounding the figures of the 2016 budget, which had been described in some quarters as a “national embarrassment”.
With the removal of Yahaya Gusau, Director-General of the Budget Office on Monday through a presidential directive, the President appears bent on uprooting all those connected with the incident.  Gusau was immediately replaced by Tijani Mohammed Abdullahi, a former banker.
However, a source close to the Presidency disclosed Thursday morning, February 18, 2016, that President Buhari intends to take the clean-up to its conclusion with a clean sweep of the Budget office to purge it of all bad eggs, described as a budget mafia strongly entrenched in the system.
The 2016 budget, Buhari’s first appropriation bill since he became President in May 2015, has been dogged by claims of padding, discrepancies and fake copies since he presented it in December 2015, with one minister allegedly saying rats must have smuggled strange figures into his ministry’s proposal because he knew nothing about it.
“The President is really angry over the discrepancies discovered in the 2016 budget. It has been confirmed that it was a clear case of sabotage. It was said to have been carried out by a budget mafia whose members are strongly enshrined in the office.
“The President’s decision is that the former Director-General should not be the only casualty in this matter.
“He has ordered that the Budget Office should be purged. Many of the officials there will be sacked while others will be transferred to other places other than where they have already constituted themselves into a mafia,” said an official, who declined to be named.
Accordingly, the source said, Buhari has directed the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, to see to the implementation of the order.