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Stats: 1,295 members, 11,631 Topics. Date: October 22, 2018, 3:40 pm

FG Denies Lawmakers' Allegation On 2018 Budget Padding

BiafraSay Forum | BiafraSay General | #Politics* | FG Denies Lawmakers' Allegation On 2018 Budget Padding (60 Views)

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- The federal government has denied claims that the 2018 budget was padded
- The government said the allegations by some lawmakers were spurious and mischievous
- A government official said such could not happen with the zero budgeting system adopted by the Prsident Muhammadu Buhari’s administration
The Nigerian government has denied allegation that the 2018 budget recently presented to the National Assembly by the Presidency was padded.
Vanguard reports that the federal government said the allegations were spurious and mischievous.
A top government official who spoke on the allegations said the performance of the 2017 budget was affected by some
‘unforeseen and extraneous factors’ .
The official who pleaded anonymity however did not say who caused or created the factors.
The official said: “The perceived poor implementation of the 2017 budget is not as a result of lack of capacity but because of unforeseen and extraneous factors.
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“First and foremost, the 2017 budget was affected by the late passage of the Appropriation Bill. Nevertheless, this affected only the capital aspects of the budget, as the statutory transfers, recurrent expenditures and debt service had been fully met in line with the budget.
“Cumulatively, N1.2 trillion was released for capital expenditure under the 2017 budget as at December 2017, after only six months of implementation. This amount is almost equivalent to the total release for the 2016 budget, which ran for 12 calendar months.
“The expenditure under the 2017 budget, therefore, remains on track given its late approval on June 12, 2017 and the associated delays as a result of mandatory procurement processes," the government source said.
The official also said that claims by some federal lawmakers that the 2018 budget was padded with the repetition of some items, explaining that with the zero budgeting system adopted by the Buhari’s administration such could not happen.
“Lately, there has been a lot of talk about repetitive items in the budget, which some have called padding. However, it is inevitable that some items will be repeated in the annual budgets.
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“Firstly, there are consumable items that are required each year. Then you have the fact that most capital projects are designed to span beyond one year budget cycle and so will be repeated until they are completed.
“Furthermore, some items, which are one-off, may be repeated because, even though they are in the budget for a particular year, they may not have been funded. Such items will, therefore, be repeated in the subsequent year’s budget until they are funded.
“Analysts, therefore, need to inquire into the specific circumstances surrounding the repetition of any items in budgets before drawing conclusions. The mere fact of repetition of an item in the budget is not conclusive evidence of a malfeasance.
“The document also pointed out that it was impossible for any Federal Government official to deliberately insert anything into the budget with a view to benefitting from such insertion, as the current administration had made it compulsory for carefully selected head of each MDA to upload their budget online into the Budget Preparation System to prevent any form of error.
“This way, only designated officers of the MDAs are granted access rights with passwords to make these upload and the system maintains an audit trail to identify who is responsible for any budget entry,"
the official said.

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