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Ekiti State Gov., Fayose advises Buhari to withdraw 2016 budget

Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, on Friday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the 2016 budget and “put an end to this national shame. Fayose, who commended the national assembly for suspending passage of the document, also expressed fears that Buhari “may not be able to achieve anything” before leaving office. He described the controversy surrounding the 2016 budget as an indication that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government was “never prepared for governance”. He said he was highly embarrassed seeing a BBC Africa “tweet that our minister of heath said rats invaded Nigeria budget documents and smuggled foreign items”. “If a government cannot prepare a common budget, it should just be concluded that those in the government never prepared for governance and such a government may not be able to achieve anything,” read a statement issued on Fayose’s behalf by Lere Olayinka, his special assistant on pubic communications and new media. “What those who prepared the budget did was to steal in advance. It is clear advance fraud and be it civil servants, political appointees or consultants, those responsible for this national embarrassment must be fished out and prosecuted. “With almost everyone disowning provisions in the budget, the latest being the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the most honourable thing to do is for President Buhari to withdraw the budget formally and put an end to this national shame that the budget has become. “On Wednesday, minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed openly disowned the N398 million being part of the budget estimates by his ministry meant for the purchase of computers. The minister who was reacting to questions on the N230 million and N168 million voted for the purchase of computers for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and the Film and Video Censors Board, the minister said he was not aware. “To worsen the situation, an official of the ministry of information said that only N5 million was proposed for the item in the original budget of the Film and Video Censors Board. How then did N5 million grew to N398 million? “Before the Wednesday denial by Lai Mohammed, the Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, had said 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. “Also, we are now being told that the sum of N10 billion which was questionably smuggled into the budget of the ministry of education for an allegedly questionable subhead was typographical error, and one wonders how N10 billion could have been included in a national budget through typo error. “Denials, typo errors, existence of budget mafia in the presidency, N3.87 billion allocated for capital projects at the State House Clinic meant for the president, vice-president and their families alone and error in the date on the letter with which the president presented the corrected version of the budget, among other shocking discoveries, the reality of an unprepared people in government is no doubt staring Nigerians in the face. “In saner climes, the president would have openly admitted to the people that he made mistakes, apologised and withdrawn the budget. It is however not too late for this honourable path to be followed by the president. He should realise that he is human and capable of committing errors. He should therefore admit that his first budget was full of errors, withdraw the budget formally from the national assembly and prepare another budget. “Most importantly, Nigerians must know those who caused this national embarrassment must be fished out and prosecuted.”

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