9 February 2016

Nigeria: Fayose Attacks Buhari, Says "Budget Scam Is National Embarrassment"

Photo: Premium Times
(file photo).

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to save the country of the national embarrassment being caused by the 2016 budget he presented to the National Assembly by formally withdrawing the budget and representing it.

According to a statement Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Pubic Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said "the President should admit that there were avoidable errors in the budget and since he is human and not immune to errors, he should simply do the needful by presenting a new and credible budget to the National Assembly."

Governor Fayose described the revelation by the Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, that the proposal drawn up by the ministry and submitted to the budget office had been doctored and that "foreign" appropriations, different from what was submitted, had been sneaked in as the height of national embarrassment.

While addressing the Senate Committee on Health during its budget defence session on Monday, Mr. Adewole had stunned the Senators when he said; "We have to look into the details of the budget and re-submit it to the committee. This was not what we submitted. We'll submit another one. We don't want anything foreign to creep into that budget.

What we submitted is not there."

The minister went further to say that in the revised budget as submitted, N15.7 billion for capital allocation was moved to other areas and that there was nothing allocated to public health and family health.

In his reaction, Governor Fayose said; "Last week, we were told that the Senate discovered a sum of N10 billion questionably smuggled into the budget of the Ministry of Education for an allegedly questionable sub-head.

"Also, we were told of the existence of a budget mafia in the Presidency that was said to be responsible for the embarrassing allocations in the budget.

"Before now, we were told that a total of N3.87 billion was allocated for capital projects at the State House Clinic alone, over N700million more than capital allocation to all the 16 federal teaching hospitals combined.

"Now, a whole minister has come out to say that budgetary provision for his ministry was forged!

"If under a President that says he is fighting corruption, the budget of the country got missing and we are now being told that the budget being considered by the National Assembly has been forged, one cannot but be afraid that there is possibility of Nigeria being forged one day, after the original must have gone missing."

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