President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to remove any unauthorized projects likely to come under “padded” arrangements in the soon-to-be laid 2017 budget estimates.
It was learnt that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the document might be presented to a joint session of the National Assembly by the president on December 1,2016.
President Buhari’s decision to ensure that the budget would not be padded followed the distortions that accompanied Budget 2016, in which series of projects and figures were injected into the financial document.
Receiving members of the Governance Support Group (GSG), led by Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at State House, Abuja, Friday, the President said: “I am waiting for the 2017 Budget to be brought to us in Council. Any sign of padding anywhere, I will remove it.”
He recalled that he had hitherto been in government since 1975, variously as governor, oil minister, head of state, and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), “and never did I hear the word ‘padding’ till the 2016 Budget”, promising to forestall the re-occurrence of what happened to this year’s budget.
The President also said his government had not deviated from its tripod campaign promises of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, but lamented that some people were deliberately turning blind eyes to prevailing realities in the country.
“They don’t want to reflect on the situation in which we are, economically. They want to live the same way; they simply want business as usual,” he said.