Missing Budget, Budget Padding and a Handicapped President By Mukhtar Jarmajo
Father: Yes my Daughter!
Amna: I just read that President Buhari is handicapped as regards signing the 2016 Budget. Why?
Father: My Daughter, there’s no way he can assent what he has no detail about. When the Senate transmitted to him the 2016 Appropriation Budget to assent thereby making it a law, it didn’t provide him with detail of the changes effected.
Amna: Daddy, be more legible pls.
Father: Amna, the Senate was expected to avail Buhari with the detail of whatever changes it has made to the Budget he proposed so that he wouldn’t assent what he will later not be happy with.
Amna: I remember, they reduced about N27 billion . . . .
Daddy: Yes! You see, the Senate can hardly be trusted recently. It can just play the presidency Maradona. It can lure Buhari into signing a Budget that isn’t too realistic to set the presidency on head-to-head collision with Nigerians. You know, as it is, the Senate can do just anything to frustrate the presidency in the name of politics.
Amna: Politics! But the nation should be first irrespective of the circumstance.
Father: Exactly my child. But the Senate appears not to realize this. Given the circumstance that characterized the emergence of its leadership, its tendencies raises no eyebrow at all. In fact, the Senate president has a criminal case before the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje also has a case of alleged fraud to the tune of about N52 bn before a competent court of jurisdiction in Gombe. So, these are the kind of people there. Nonetheless, in fairness to all, there are few who are decent and innocent.
Father: My Daughter!#NoBeOnlyDemWakaGoDSenateoooo! You remember, initially the Budget was declared missing after it was presented. Later, it was padded. The president said in Saudi-Arabia that through out his time in the Army when he served at different times as governor of the defunct northeast state and later Borno state, petroleum minister and as chairman of the defunct PTF, at no time did he ever hear of “Budget Padding.”
Father: Amna, this is a land of many possibilities. We have seen so much in the past. But one sure thing is Nigerians are democratically more enlightened today and are therefore watching all that is going on. So there’s little to worry about.
Amna: Allah sawa’ka!
@mukhtarjarmajo on Twitter?