Meanwhile, the president, Muhammadu Buhari has ordered for an immediate investigation be carried out into the allegations of fraudulent padding of allocations in the 2016 budget as discovered by the National Assembly.
The 2016 budget has come under the spotlight for alleged discrepancies, errors and ambiguities which made the National Assembly suspend deliberations on the document indefinitely on Tuesday, February 9.
According to source, a senior presidency official blamed budget mafia for the discrepancies in the documents, in reference to civil servants responsible for preparing the budget.
Another top administration official who pleaded anonymity told our source that the government wanted to resolve the issues without publicising it to avoid playing into the hands of its critics.
He said: “The presidency has ordered the immediate investigation of all the allegations and issues, particularly on padding, raised by the National Assembly on various ministries, departments and agencies of government.
“The investigative panel is expected to critically look into the budget item-by-item, incident-by-incident, with particular attention to the reactions from the National Assembly, ministries, media, civil society groups or indeed anybody that raised concerns regarding the padding of the budget.
“All corrections would be made to ensure that the budget was passed as soon as possible. I assure you government is working cautiously on the corrections with the intention of correcting any error or malfeasance spotted in the 2016 Appropriation Bill. If there is any error whatsoever, it is being sorted out straight away.”
Meanwhile, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has expressed worries over drop in Nigeria’s oil production level which is below the 2016 budgeted target which might spelt doom to the implementation of 2016 budget.