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2016 budget: The truth told has remained untold

17 February 2016, 13:51 Hussain Obaro

As the controversy surrounding the alleged missing and subsequent padding (inflation) of the 2016 appropriation bill and its figures as submitted by president Muhammadu Buhari rages on, with the National Assembly’s pronouncement that it could no longer guarantees the passage of the budget this February as earlier promised due to the fact that a thorough job needed to be done to ensure that Nigerian are given a “clean” and a true budget of change. Some members of the opposition political parties and many misguided Nigerians have come out to tag the 2016 budget as that of corruption while others calls it a budget of shame which is full of errors.

Unfortunately, some highly placed in the political and economic arena who should know better and are in the best position to enlighten and educate Nigerians have even gone the extra mile to advice that the president recalls or withdraws the appropriation bill with the aim of what they termed “correcting the errors” Beyond the propaganda of the opposition politicians who are hell bent on deceiving Nigerians just to score cheap and unwarranted political points by throwing jabs at the present administration even when such was unnecessary and needless. The truth that must be told Nigerians at this juncture is that there’s nothing wrong with the 2016 budget estimate that is different with that of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 appropriation bills, the only difference and uniqueness of this budget is that for the first time in the history of Nigerian democracy, the executive, headed by President Muhammadu Buhari has subjected the Nation’s budget to the thorough scrutiny of the National Assembly.          

Unlike what obtains in the past, when we operated an “envelope system” of budget defense, a system totally characterized by secrecy and corruption in which moneys are appropriated to ministries, parastatals and agencies of government without vivid enquiries being made on what such funds are meant for by members of the National Assembly who are usually only interested in negotiating a cut or their own share rather than getting the job done. This time around, Mr. President has decided in his wisdom and in line with the anticorruption drive of the present administration that things must be done in total deviation from the corrupt past, devised the zero - budgeting system, a system which ensures that the appropriation bill is scrutinized line - after - line and figure - after - figure. If anything, kudos must be given to President Muhammadu Buhari for abandoning the old ways of reckless and wasteful appropriation of the nation’s resources which has done more harm than good. Inflation or padding of the Nigerian budget has almost become a way of life and a means through which civil servants, politicians and members of the National Assembly corruptly enrich their pockets.                                                                                                       

The fact that the corruption and fraudulent practices of some politicians aided by some staff of the budget office is being exposed this time around is a testament to the success of the zero - budget system approach of the present APC led government. The good news is that some of the Ministers and Heads of agencies have being bold enough to denounce and told Nigerians that their budgets have been doctored and padded by “foreign bodies” Indeed the corruption that has ravaged the nation’s budgeting system is being exposed.                   

It is said that when one fights corruption, it surely fights back. It is not surprising therefore that rather than give credit to the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, the corrupt-class whose yearly fraudulent activities is being exposed by the zero - budgeting system have continued to misinform Nigerians and cast aspersions on a government that meant well for Nigerians by frantically working towards a corruption free Nigeria. Rather than join these corrupt individuals and enemies of Nigeria in criticizing the 2016 budget and throwing insults at the present administration, Nigerians who are genuinely after a progressive and a corruption - free society should rally round Mr. President.

Thank you, President Muhammadu Buhari for exposing the fraud in our yearly budgets by giving us zero - budget system.               

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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