The Budget of Hopefully
- “We are determined to ensure that our resources are managed prudently and utilized solely for the public good. To set the proper tone, one of our early decisions was the adoption of a zero based budgeting approach, which ensures that resources are aligned with Government’s priorities and allocated efficiently.” President Buhari, Budget Presentation, Dec 22, 2015.
- “As the National Assembly considers the proposed 2016 National Budget, the APC calls on members of the Senate and House of Representatives to rise above political, regional and ethnic sentiments and pass the proposed 2016 National Budget which is pro-people and in the overall best interest on Nigeria.” APC Press Release, Dec 22, 2015.
Bait and Switch
- “If in the process of the budgeting period, the National Assembly or the Executive discovers anything not practicable or deserving adjustment, then it will be amended. Budget is always subject to amendment” — Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly (House of Representatives) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Sumaila Kawu, Jan 14, 2016.
- “What [Ita Enang] distributed is different from what was presented by Mr. President and we have resolved not to address any version until we receive the version presented by Mr. President” — Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Jan 14, 2016.
- “We would have had to check to ensure that there were no errors… That has since been completed….Please find attached the corrected version. This is the version the national assembly should work with as my 2016 budget estimates.” — President Buhari, Jan 18, 2016.
I Stand With Buhari (Version 1)
- “The 2016 budget is epic not just because of its mega size of N6tn but for the reason that it touches on the wellbeing of the people.” — Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Jan 20, 2016.
- “I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for giving us, for the first time in 17 years, a holy budget”, — Senator Dino Melaye, Jan 21, 2016.
- “2016 Budget Will Be Passed By February” — Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Jan 22, 2016.
- “Our budget is achievable; we have ongoing reforms targeted at diversifying our revenue base away from single oil commodity economy.” — Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, Jan 31, 2016.
- “I want to assure the people that immediately the budget is passed into law, we will zoom into action and all our promises will be fulfilled….We have plans for artisans and market women; they are already in our plans in the budget and we will give them soft loans to boost their businesses.” — President Buhari, Feb 3, 2016.
Trouble in Paradise
- “We are not by any stretch of imagination suggesting that the draft budget is beyond comments or reproach. Nor do we wish to dwell on this simply to make a point…The budget is a Nigerian budget and citizens reserve the right to examine its content and provide their own perspectives” — Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Feb 7, 2016.
- “SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the massive fraud in Buhari’s 2016 budget” — Nicholas Ibekwe, Premium Times, Feb 9, 2016.
- “Budget 2016 full of errors, can’t be passed” – National Assembly, Feb 9, 2016
- Some errors (in the Budget) were not unexpected in the changeover to the new Zero Based Budget, ZBB, approach — Director of Information, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mr. Charles Dafe Feb 9, 2016.
- “No, that is not possible. That was definitely not what was proposed, this cannot be,” — Lai Mohammed, Feb 10, 2016.
I Stand With Buhari (Version 2)
- “I’m going to absolve the president, but I’m not going to absolve the people that put it in. Why I absolved the president, I will tell you….. The job was done by civil servants, it has always been done by them. The president does not sit in a ministry, he doesn’t know what’s going on there or what they need or do not need.” — Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Feb 14, 2016.
- “We have not postponed (passage of the budget) indefinitely…. We have a time frame and that is the determination to get the budget out as soon as possible and by the grace of God, we will pass it before end of March.” — Senator Ali Ndume, Feb 14, 2016.
- “This is the first time we are doing a budget that the President is looking forward to implement. This budget was done in a rush and you know there are some issues that are cropping up. It is no longer going to be business as usual” — Senator Ali Ndume, Feb 15, 2016.
- “I have a copy of the budget in my office and I don’t have any problems with it…. Whatever has come from the president is a proposal for God’s sake…. Why are we quarrelling about a mere proposal? You will have a business with the budget that will be ready first or second week of March.” — Bode Ayorinde, Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Feb 15, 2016.
And there you have it, long-suffering Nigerian folks. We have been advised to have business with the budget after it has been passed into law. Still, we all ought to take these trips down memory lane—to keep things in perspective.
Ayo Sogunro was called a “paid APC agent” when he criticised the inefficiencies of the Jonathan administration. Because people are forgetful or mischievous, he has now been called a “closet GEJ sympathiser” for criticising the inefficiencies of the Buhari administration. Ayo Sogunro is unimpressed by both labels.
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