The National Assembly (NASS) yesterday suspended debates on the 2016 budget claiming that it is full of errors.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is deeply worried by the controversy surrounding the 2016 budget proposal. We are nonplussed by the revelations emerging from both the Presidency and the NASS. There is strong evidence of sabotage. Corruption is fighting back.
There is no gainsaying the fact that any delay in passing the budget has far-reaching effect on the nation’s economy. What is most disturbing is the attendant bandwagon effect on the jamaaheer (masses) who will certainly bear the full brunt of the delay.
We recall that the same budget was once declared missing in mysterious circumstances with accusations and counter-accusations between the Presidency and the NASS. The discrepancies recently discovered in the budget suggest the involvement of a sophisticated budget cabal collaborating with an unrepentant extremist opposition clique determined to wreck the economy in order to score a political point.
This is corruption fighting back and dirty. It will be recalled that the Ministry of Health had also cried foul over the contents of its own allocations in the proposed budget.
MURIC strongly suspects that fifth columnists are actively engaged in a bitter and desperate battle to re-open the drain pipes which the new regime has been struggling to block.
It is obvious at this point, even to the blind, that there has been an age-long practice of siphoning the nation’s resources into private pockets through the doctoring of the budget on an annual basis. The irregularities in the budget proposal may also be traced to the landmines laid by the past regime with its zero hour recruitments and appointments.
The budget department in the Ministry of Finance cannot claim ignorance of this fiscal inexactitude. Accounting error emerging from such a sensitive unit of government is unprofessional. It smirks of gross ineptitude and it should not go unpunished. The Federal Government needs powerful pesticides to exterminate the budget parasites.
We therefore call for the immediate overhauling of all government departments and units associated with the preparation of the budget. This budgetgate must be probed and the culprits must be punished according to the laws of the land in order to serve as deterrent to others. We must not allow a budget cabal to hold 180 million Nigerians to ransom.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)