JUST IN: Nigeria’s finance minister dispute budget padding allegations

Allegations that various ministries, departments, and organizations have padded their budgets have been disputed by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

The minister pointed out that the monies in question were only incorrectly included in the budget estimates sent to the National Assembly and that the federal government has made steps to promote openness in the budgeting process.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development headquarters is home to the project in question. The National Social Safety Net-Scale Up project is funded by the World Bank to the tune of $473,500,000, or N206,242,395,000 at the N435.57/USD exchange rate.

The International Economic Relations Department’s (IERD) budget proposal for 2023 accurately outlined the project. But sadly, the Government Integrated Financial Management Information (GIFMIS) Budget Preparation System incorrectly recorded the project as a “Purchase of Security Equipment” since the incorrect code from the drop-down menu was chosen (BPS).

Recall that the N206,242,395,000 allegedly entered its budget without the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management’s knowledge.

However, in a statement made accessible to our correspondent, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, the special adviser to the minister of media and communications, claimed that the sums in question were only incorrectly included in the budget estimates sent to the National Assembly.

“Please be aware that the BPS only offers a small selection of programme/project descriptions that are encoded. Also keep in mind that multilateral loans typically have unique budget system codes and are project-tied. Different from the envelopes often handed to ministries, departments, and agencies are the multilateral loans (MDAs).

According to the provisions of the agreements, the beneficiary ministries draw on the cash, and the financial institutions distribute the money directly to the service providers.

The statement read;

“There were numerous opportunities to evaluate specifics for ministry observations and adjustments issued by the Budget Office of the Federation (BOF).”

According to the statement, the proposed budget for each ministry for 2023 was distributed for review and comment before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) evaluated it and President Buhari submitted it to the National Assembly.

According to a statement about the refurbishment and acquisition of Harris RF-5/7800 military communication equipment by the Ministry of Defence, the president had authorized N8,600,000,000, or 50% of the requirement for phases 2 and 3 (using the exchange rate of N435.57/USD). This amount had been budgeted for in the 2023 budget.

For the 2023 Multilateral/Bilateral Tied-Loan project for the Ministry of Power, the ministry said the four projects total USD448,757,149, which is N195, 465,151,790 and would be implemented by the World Bank, AfDB and Export-Import Bank of China.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *