Buhari President orders probe of 2016 budget fraud

According to Premium Times, which cited a senior government official, the President strictly ordered that the cases of discrepancies in numbers and ambiguities be resolved without further delay.

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President Muhammadu Buhari play

President Muhammadu Buhari

(Daily Post)
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President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly ordered the immediate probe of the 2016 budget, which has been trailed by allegations fraudulent alteration of allocations.

According to Premium Times, which cited a senior government official, the President strictly ordered that the cases of discrepancies in numbers and ambiguities be resolved without further delay..

Due to the errors, the National Assembly had on Tuesday, February 9, suspended the passage of the budget indefinitely.

READ: Fayose says Buhari's 2016 budget is a national embarrassment

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, (APC-Gombe State), and  Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC-Kano) of the House of Representatives, said the suspension was necessary to enable the National Assembly carry out “proper clean-up” of the budget.

A top administration official, who pleaded anonymity, told Premium Times, the government does not want to make any public statement on the matter to avoid playing into the hands of critics. But assured that both the Finance and Budget and National Planning ministries are doing everything possible to make necessary corrections and turn in a clean copy of the budget for approval.

The official was said to have blamed the errors in the document on “over-ambitious civil servants” who handled the preparation of the budget before Buhari appointed ministers.

He said investigation into the 2016 budget is being carried out by a high-powered panel.

“The investigative panel is expected to critically look into the budget item-by-item, incident-by-incident, with particular attention to the reactions from the National Assembly, ministries, media, civil society groups or indeed anybody that raised concerns regarding the padding of the budget.

“All corrections would be made to ensure that the budget was passed as soon as possible. I assure you government is working cautiously on the corrections with the intention of correcting any error or malfeasance spotted in the 2016 Appropriation Bill. If there is any error whatsoever, it is being sorted out straight away,” the official said.

It was gathered that those involved in the discrepancies may be fired.

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