Following NAIRAMETRICS earlier report that a ‘budget mafia’ in the Federal Government’s bureaucracy are attempting to scuttle innovations introduced into the budget by inflating figures, Punch reports that fears have gripped some directors and permanent secretaries in many ministries, departments and agencies over the revelations.
According to Punch, the mafia proposed a budget of N9.7tn for capital spending and overheads, excluding personnel cost, as against the Presidency’s initial total estimate of about N8tn.
The group was said to have proposed N3tn as overheads alone out of the N9.7tn, a figure the Presidency later slashed to N163bn.
A director in one of the ministries told The Punch that many of his colleagues were startled about the revelation from the Presidency, stating that heads would roll as a result of the scam.
Describing the extent of padding of the budget as mind-blowing, the director stated that while the issue of padding of budget was not new, the magnitude of figure involved in the current scam was huge.
The source said:
“What we read in the news about the padding of the budget by some civil servants who the Presidency referred to as constituting a ‘budget mafia’ is very alarming.
“It tells you the extent of the rot we have in the civil service. But I think this time the civil service is in for a serious trouble because the body language of the President is that of zero tolerance for corruption.
“Everyone in the civil service knows that this government is out to fight corruption and from the recent revelation, the level of fear and anxiety in the civil service, particularly those at the peak of their careers, has been heightened.”
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, is expected to appear before the National Assembly to defend the ministry’s budget and that of its parastatals for the 2016 fiscal year today.