John Alechenu and John Ameh, Abuja
The former Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has expressed disappointment that no lesson has been learnt from the 2016 budget fraud commonly referred to as budget padding.
Jibrin spoke in Abuja on Friday, the eve of the first 100 days since the crisis in the House of Representatives over the budget padding saga became a national issue.
Today (Saturday) marks the one hundredth (100th) day after the face-off between the Executive and the Legislature over the padding of the 2016 budget.
The face-off led to a crisis in the House of Representatives, which culminated in Jibrin’s sacking as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and his subsequent suspension from legislative duties for 180 days.
Several officers of the Budget Office were also relieved of their appointments and some were redeployed following the scandal.
Jibrin explained that nothing had changed from the process which allows budget fraud in the system.
According to him, the decision by the leadership of the National Assembly to invite the Minister of Finance and her counterpart in the Budget and National Planning Ministry after the President submitted the Medium Term Expenditure Framework; is the gateway to budget padding.
Jibrin said, “I don’t believe any lesson has been learnt with what I see happening.
“The whole process of forming a small group, inviting the Minister of Budget (and National Planning) and the Minister of Finance, has started and that is where the whole problem in the appropriation process starts.”