2012 Budget: Senate Uncovers Illegal Injection Of N1T By Ministers, MDAs

Senator Ahmed Maccido, Chairman of the senate committee on appropriation.

A scandal may have enveloped the 2012 budget currently before the National Assembly with revelations that the proposed appropriation may have been doctored in order to accommodate various projects with an estimated value of N1 trillion.
The indication emerged via the Senate Committee on Appropriation’s announcement on Tuesday that it has uncovered how some government Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAS) secretly smuggled in over N1trillion projects into the N4.7trillion fiscal estimate.
Accordingly, with the alleged smuggled items the 2012 fiscal estimate may have been pushed up to about N5.7 trillion.
In a statement made available to THEWILL in Abuja, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmed Maccido, alleged that over 40 percent of the projects are not captured in the budget presented to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan last year.
According to him, these projects were smuggled into the budget by the MDAS and “we at the committee level would jettison them because they are not in the original budget.”
Although there are indications that the Senate may pass the budget before the end of the month, Senator Maccido insists that the committee would subject the budget to a more thorough scrutiny in other to expunge all the unauthorized projects.
“The committee has discovered what we can call substantial changes in the 2012 budget .The committee would put the budget as presented by the MDGS and the President and expunge the unauthorized projects.
“The problem is that, we are seeing projects that are not in the original version of the budget presented to us by President Goodluck Jonathan and substantial part of these projects are being smuggled into the budget by the MDGS and Ministers.
“Over 40 percent of the projects in the budget are not in the original budget. And we are saying no, to the items so smuggled, which is over N1trillion.
“So we are right now comparing the budget as originally presented by the President and the version presented by the MDGS. Unless these projects are there in the original budget, we are going to scrap them. It’s no longer going to be business as usual.
“These people are just smuggling in projects that are not in the budgets. And we are going to remove them,” he stated.
However, the development may have sent jitters down the spine of most Ministers and heads of government agencies.
Meanwhile, the Senate has given a matching order to its standing committees to submit their reports to the appropriation committee for necessary legislative action.
Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe disclosed that the Senate is ready to approve the budget before the end of the month.



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