Auditor General Contradicts Buhari on 2016 Budget

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Samuel Ukura, auditor-general of the Federation, AGF has said that the 2016 budget was not based on zero-based budget template but on the existing envelope system.

Ukura, told the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, headed by Senator Andy Uba, on Thursday, February 18, that the template adopted in preparing the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget estimates was the envelope system and not the zero-based budget system earlier announced by President Buhari’s during the presentation on December 22, 2015.

He said though the earlier intention by the present government was to adopt the zero-based budgeting template, the realities on ground later forced it to adopt the usual envelope-based budgeting system.

The Auditor General explained that even the N2.9 billion budget estimates of his office for the year was not arrived at through zero budgeting, but handed over to them as an envelope by the Ministry of Finance.

“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.

“In zero-based budgeting, it is assumed that such expenditure does not exist, you start from zero and justify why that expenditure must be used. It is a system which is good and which would has also helped to set targets, but that wasn’t applied at the end of the day, perhaps, because it was hurriedly being introduced,” he said.

However, Senators Akpan Bassey and Foster Ogala reminded him that his submission on the 2016 budget template ran contrary to the presentation by President Buhari during the joint session of the National Assembly on December 22.

Ukura was also taken up by the committee members on why his office had not deemed it fit to audit the account of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for always budgeting N32 billion for recurrent expenditure covering staff strength of about 1,400 the same staff strength of the AGF’s office which has N1.8 billion as its votes for recurrent expenditure.

The senators also expressed surprise that not a single audit query was raised from the SGF’s office in the face of widespread cases of graft being carried out in various government offices through budget padding under recurrent and overhead votes.

Culled from Nigerian Tribune

– Feb. 19, 2016 @ 2:40 GMT |

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