2016 Budget Not Padded, Says Minister

Buhari-Budget

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Saturday said that the 2016 budget was not padded because the total figure voted for all ministries still remains the N6.08 trillion President Muhammadu Buhari submitted to the National Assembly.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos, he said: “The total for every ministry has remained exactly the same as what was submitted to the National Assembly.
“A lot has been said about the budget. Let make clear that nobody can ever accuse this government of padding any budget.
“The total of all ministries put together has not exceeded N6.08 trillion that was submitted. It is factually incorrect to say that the budget was padded.
“This is the first time in the history of this country that a government will embark what is called zero based budget.
“Before now, the budget system was what was called an enveloped system. In an envelope system, there is no justification as to why we need N30 billion for a structure.
“This year, we decide that every ministry must have a zero based budget. In other word, you must justify and explain why you need N100 billion.
“This is very good system, the soft are for it was also very different. The personnel were not used to it.
“Now, in the process we got to National Assembly. What the ministers do is to have a broad overview of the budget. The template used by the Budget Office is uniform for all ministers”.
The minister also said exports, balance of trade, Gross Domestic Product were responsible for currency appreciation and depreciation.
Information Nigeria notes that Mr. Mohammed’s claim of zero based system for the 2016 budget contradicts the Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, who said the document was prepared using the traditional envelope budgeting system.
Mr. Ukura, who spoke when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts for budget Defence on Thursday, explained that the earlier intention by the Buhari administration was to adopt zero based budgeting as a template, but realities on ground, later forced it to adopt the usual envelope based budgeting.
“Budgets of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government this year are all envelope based and not zero based as it has been the case over the years, including that of my Office, which is even largely done for us by the supervising ministry”, he said.

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