President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday, made good his threat to deal ruthlessly with top civil servants who altered figures in the 2016 budget thereby making nonsense of his zero budget plan.- Vanguard News
While in Saudi Arabia, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari threatened to deal with all those who are guilty of “padding” the budget. The president, who was earlier bamboozled with the term “padding,” has shown it was not an empty threat after all. A few days ago Buhari demoted a shocking 184 government officials who dubiously manipulated the budget figures.
All guilty persons including the director of budget were removed from their offices and demoted to areas not related to budget duties. This is to serve as a disciplinary measure for attempting to steal and fool an entire nation. In dismay Buhari incites that the culprits of this crime were not exactly new to the “padding” business. It has been an on-going way of successfully stealing from national coffers and not be caught. However, this time they were unfortunate to be dealing with the zero-corruption geared president.
Sadly, the padding crime has blatantly rubbished the President’s austere efforts. It is confirmed that about 22 top budget officials were involved in this shameful crime. The list includes 4 level 17 directors; 6 deputy directors and 12 assistant directors. In all, report says that the offices of 14 of them have been replaced with “immediate effect.”
Just when we thought we had seen all the drama there could be with the Nigerian 2016 budget, this happens. This “Budget Padding” episode has done nothing but put a question mark on the calibre of leaders we have; two, the extent to which corruption and criminality have become the order of the day in the Nigerian government.
Obviously Mr president is hopefully getting a hint on the unpatriotic nature of the people he is to work with; and of course the glaring need to rid the system of corporate rogues. As a correctional and preventive measure, president Buhari has merged the budget office with the planning ministry. We can only hope that these changes will yield better results in the future.