President Muhammadu Buhari after spitting fire in Saudi Arabia has allegedly released plain clothes detectives to find who padded the budget in the ministries and budget office.
Examples of padding included $700,000 by the Ministry of Works and Housing for a single borehole. It is important to note that identical figures were used by the minister when he was Lagos State governor and this was criticized by Nigerians through their Senate during Fashola’s ministerial screening. Whether Minister Fashola will be sacked is anticipated.
On the detectives, Vanguard says:
“In the meantime, it was learnt that the President has ordered detectives to fish out those who orchestrated the padding of the budget for immediate punishment on his return to Abuja. Based on the directive, according to the sources, plain clothes detectives had since swooped on the Department of Budget and some ministries, departments and agencies to fish out those implicated in the budget imbroglio.
The sources claimed that more heads may roll over the addition of figures to the original budget proposals, presented by Buhari to the National Assembly, by officials believed to be opposed to the zero-based budget system adopted by the President to cut costs and boost capital expenditure to 30 percent.
Those who altered the budget were said to have opted for the “envelope system”, which arbitrarily allocates a fixed but unrealistic sum to each unit, sometimes higher or lower than what is actually required. The detectives were said to have been scanning the initial documents used for the 2016 Budget and comparing them with the “padded budget documents”, which caused a spat between the Presidency and the National Assembly.
A source in one of the ministries, where the detectives were sighted, pointed out that the men had been examining documents for two days running.
“For two days, the detectives have been working in the Budget Department but we do not really know what exactly they picked out”, a top official in the Planning Ministry said.
“But the detectives did not molest any of the staff of the ministry. They went straight to look at the records and began to input data into their own computers”.
Already, Buhari has fired the Director of Budget and appointed a new one while moving the Budget Department from the Finance Ministry to National Planning.
Some of the Budget Department officials, who were moved to other MDAs, were also being questioned by the detectives.