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Buhari Orders Total Cleansing Of Budget Office

A directive to completely purge the Budget Office with immediate effect has been given by President Muhammadu Buhari following the discrepancies and padding of the 2016 budget, which led to the removal of Mr. Yahaya Gasau as the Director General of the office.
The President handed gave this order due the embarrassment the budget discrepancies had brought to his administration.
It was recalled that Gusau, who was dismissed as the DG on Monday, was replaced with Mr. Tijjani Mohammed Abdullahi.
But a top government official who pleaded anonymity revealed that the President was not yet done with the issue.
The source said Buhari had been properly briefed of the activities of government officials in the Budget Office who were described as “budget mafia” and accused of sabotaging the budget process.
He said that a decision had been taken that while many of the identified officials would be sacked, the remaining ones should be posted out of the office.
The official, who quoted Buhari describing the discrepancies as sabotage, added that the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, had been directed to implement the presidential directive and communicate the decision to the affected officials.
When asked when the President’s directive would take effect, the source said “it is with immediate effect.”
In sacking Guasu as DG, Budget Office on Monday, Buhari had also approved the appointment of Mr. Ben Akabueze as the Special Adviser on Planning to the Minister of Budget and National Planning.
Sources in the Presidency had, on February 6, alleged that a budget mafia planned to scuttle the innovations introduced by the current administration into the budget by inflating the figures.
A mafia was alleged to have proposed a budget of N9.7tn for capital and overhead spending, excluding personnel cost, as against the Presidency’s initial 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.
The Ministry of Budget and National planning had also promised to investigate and punish those responsible for the errors and strange figures found in the budget, which was presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari in December, 2015.
The errors had delayed the passage of the budget with the federal legislature, saying the February 25 deadline it set for its approval was no longer feasible.

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