Inclusion Of Allocation For Aircraft, Seaboat, Railways In 2014 Budget Proposal By MDAs Was Systemic Error – DG Budget Office

Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala-DG-Budget-Office-Bright-OkoguFollowing the public condemnation that greeted the inclusion of spurious and phony allocations such as fuelling and maintenance of aircraft, boats and railway equipment by some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the 2014 Budget proposal, the Federal Government has blamed the development on systemic errors arising from the use of the Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS).

The director-general of the Budget Office of the Federation, Dr Bright Okogu, made this clarification during the Public Presentation of the 2014 Federal Budget organised by the Federal Ministry of Finance, in Abuja, Monday.

It would be recalled that at least N14.5 million was allocated by the Mathematical Centre, Sheda; Investment and Securities Tribunal and Federal College of Education, Katsina for fuelling and maintenance of aircraft, boats and railway equipment. Meanwhile, the aforementioned agencies do not own aircraft, boats or even railway equipment.

However, Okogu claimed that these provisions were done in error and were glitches that arose from using the GIFMIS accounting system for preparation of the budget for the first time and related the error to what was witnessed in the United States of America with the Obamacare policy.

“What happened was that GIFMIS being a new system, had some glitches that reflected in some of the provisions. It is not totally strange. Many of you have read about the Obamacare and the challenges they had in actually implementing it. It is a big system, bigger than ours, but with the same features.

“What we saw in 2014 is because this is the first time we have used the GIFMIS to prepare the budget. I actually feel very proud. It is an issue which we have recognised and I want to use this opportunity to assure everyone that we will clean the books. We have already approached the National Assembly concerning this”, the DG budget said.