Three directors moved out of Budget Office
• Budget officials dissociate selves from padding saga
Three directors have been moved out of the Budget Office of the Federation as a result of the embarrassment caused by the tardiness of the N6.08 trillion 2016 federal budget.
They include Mr. Francis Ojiah (Administration and Supplies); Mrs. Stella B Toluwase (Expenditure); and Mrs. Olunbimi O .O (Revenue).
Under the Organogram of the Office, the Expenditure Department prepares the annual budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also releases monthly and quarterly warrants and AIE.
The Revenue Department estimates all government oil and non-oil revenues, among others, while the Administration and Supplies Department is in charge of general administration of the Budget Office as well as procurement.
Meanwhile, the sack of Director-General of the Budget Office, Alhaji Yahaya Aliyu Gusau notwithstanding, some top officials of the agency have blamed the presidency for They maintained that the department was totally sidelined in the entire planning and drafting process.
Instead, the budget bureaucrats alleged that the job was contracted out hence key steps were overlooked, resulting in the monumental embarrassment.
According to the staff who craved anonymity, they alleged that the consultants from a DFID-funded Federal Public Administration Reform Programme Nigeria (FEPAR) “with no experience in budget preparation” were recruited to handle the 2016 budget.
The bureaucrats further alleged: “ FEPAR’s appointment was not even tendered and there was no inputs from the Budget Office of the federation (BOF) on its appointment as well as scrutiny of its technical know-how on national budget. The consultants prepared the 2016 budget which has been mired in controversies since its submission to the national assembly last December.”
Again, they averred: “ The process for the budget was entirely run by FEPAR and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning MBNP, bodies that are alien to budget preparation and procedures.
“The system of FGN budgeting in previous years was different from the ZBB which the current government has adopted and the tool used in the past is GIFMIS but all efforts to get FEPAR align its template to GIFMIS was resisted, “ the bureaucrats further contended.
It would be recalled that FEPAR, a DFID-funded intervention was designed to provide technical assistance to key public service institutions in Nigeria.
It is geared at strengthening core Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) systems and its capacity to deliver public services, with the overall goal of a more capable and accountable government of Nigeria.
The programme focuses on five reform areas, including support to central policy and planning coordination, civil service reform, public financial management, service improvement and external accountability.