- FG put the blame on the development on the adoption of the Zero-Based Budgeting System
- FG said it will sanction anyone found to have been involved in any fraudulent activity as regards the budget
- FG promised to liaise with the National Assembly to address issues raised in the budget
Following the revelation of several unjustifiable allocations in the 2016 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, the federal government has finally admitted that there were errors in the 2016 Budget.
In it defense, FG put the blame on the development on the adoption of the Zero-Based Budgeting System.
The ministry of dudget and national planning in a statement by the Director of Information in the ministry, Mr. Charles Dafe said the budget was well structured but those responsible for budgeting at the various ministries, departments and agencies of government were still grappling with some of the technicalities used in the fiscal document.
“The proposals have received general commendation. However, the details were developed using the Zero-Based Budget and is a new concept to our Budget Officers away from our traditional envelop process.
“The members of staff in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning as well as those handling budget issues in all ministries and extra-ministerial agencies are grappling to master the technicalities in the ZBB template.
“As such therefore, some errors are not unexpected in the changeover to the new ZBB approach.
“This was the reason the ministry arranged for the proposals to be placed on the website of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to expose them to public scrutiny,” the statement reads in part.
The ministry said it will liaise with the National Assembly to address issues raised in the budget adding that the government would investigate and sanction anyone found to have been involved in any fraudulent activity as regards the budget.
“The ministry assures the general public that it will continue to liaise with the relevant committees of the National Assembly to address any issues that have arisen, or may arise.
“Training and retraining to build capacity of the Budget Officers on the ZBB concept will be intensified in 2016.
“As we move forward, lessons are being learnt; the ministry’s experience and competency on ZBB will be improved and perfected upon.
“However, the ministry has zero tolerance for malfeasance and whenever any wrongdoing is alleged, it will be thoroughly investigated and sanctions will be applied.”
Meanwhile, the National Assembly has announced the indefinite postponement of 2016 budget passage, which had been earlier scheduled for February 25, due to various controversies surrounding the document. Future date for the passage of the budget was not provided.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, the chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje and Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin, enumerated a number of issues why the passage was postponed.