July 21, 2024

Alleged Budget Padding: Another National Embarrassment – CACOL

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…Calls For Thorough Investigation

The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called on the Presidency to come out clean on the allegation of budget padding currently making waves in the country.

In a statement issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the anti-corruption organization’s Director, Administration and Programmes on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “It would be recalled that The BBC Hausa service on Saturday had, in a report, quoted Senator Ningi, the Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, as alleging that the Federal Government was operating an N28tn budget, contrary to the N25tn passed by the National Assembly. Senator Ningi had said in the report, “Apart from what the National Assembly did on the floor, there was another budget that was done underground which we didn’t know.”

National Assembly

According to the CACOL boss “There is something fishy when a sitting Senator raised a damning accusation against the Senate and the Executive concerning how the commonwealth of the generality of the people of the country is being spent and till now we don’t have a concrete statement from both the Senate and the Executive concerning this allegation.”

“We believe the Accountant General of the Federation should have documentary evidence to either support or reject this allegation or at least come out with verifiable evidence(s) to assure the people that the government of the day is on the right track as far as the national budget is concerned.”

“We at CACOL find it difficult to believe that allegation of budget padding could raise its ugly head again at this crucial point of this administration’s tenure. We would like to affirm that the allegation, if true, represents the pinnacle of gross misconduct and an obvious negation of every modicum of the principles of transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility. In fact, it is a shame that despite being tagged as one of the most corrupt country in the world, the fetor of budget padding is still reeking out from government quarters, that is supposed to champion anti-corruption effort in the country.”

We would like to inform the representatives of the people currently in government that power is transient and that it very dishonourable to betray the trust of the millions of Nigerian citizens by misappropriating the money they are entrusted to manage on behalf of the people.

Senator Ningi

The anti-graft czar added, “Considering the battered state of the economy today, the worsening devaluation of the naira which has led to reduction in the purchasing power of the people, and the throes of biting hunger that has pervaded the land, it would be wrong for any one in government to add insult to injury being experienced by innocent and hapless Nigerians by mismanaging the revenue of the country and spending it in the most illegal and illegitimate means possible.”

We would therefore use this opportunity to call on the various anti-graft agencies to look in to this allegation as quickly as possible with a view to bring the perpetrators if any, to book.

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