Those responsible for the spurious figures smuggled into the 2016 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly would not go unpunished, President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed.
The president made the vow yesterday while addressing the Nigerian Community in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Buhari, who is on a week-long visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar to engage officials of both countries in talks for the stability of oil prices, described the controversy generated by the 2016 budget proposal as “very embarrassing and disappointing”.
A statement by presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, quoted President Buhari as saying: “The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a military governor, petroleum minister, military Head of State and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund. Never had I heard the words ‘budget padding’.
“Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team. The Minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it. What he gave us was not what was finally being debated. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished”, he vowed.
The president also assured the Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia of his administration’s zero tolerance for corruption.
“We have zero tolerance for corruption and other unethical practices. We will deal decisively with anybody found wanting”, he promised.
On the counter-insurgency war in the North-East, Buhari restated the commitment of his administration to wipe out the Boko Haram terrorist sect.
“Our armed forces have done a great job of dealing decisively with Boko Haram. We are collaborating with our neighbors in the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force to handle security threats in the sub-region and we have significantly destroyed the capacity of the insurgents”.