Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has called for a more transparent and accountable budget system in the country, noting that the current process is practically fraudulent.
Obaseki stated this while addressing participants at a four-day training organised by the Edo State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, in collaboration with Open Government Partnership (OGP) on Monday.
This was contained in a statement signed by the governor’s spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, and titled, ‘Obaseki faults nation’s budgeting process, urges more transparent, accountable system’.
According to Obaseki, “one of the major crises that we have in Nigeria today, apart from the very weak bureaucracy, is our budgeting process. Our budgeting, I am sorry to use a very harsh word, is almost fraudulent. Why do I say so?
“As an entity, whether federal, state, or local government, you know how much you can earn. Assuming you can only earn N100 in a year with all the evidence right before you, of course, you know it’s going to be N100.
“By the time you are preparing the budget and you are giving certain agencies envelopes to put this and that in the budget, you will end up putting up a budget of N200, and you are only going to receive N100. That is where the fraud begins.
“By the time you take that document to the House, the various representatives there have various promises they made to their constituents and the things they want to put in for themselves, and they add N50 to it.
“It will now be a budget of N250, and meanwhile, you have only N100. From that N100, maybe you have said that N100 will be for recurrent expenditures, to pay for the running of the government and N50 will be for capital. The recurrent expenditure is the first-line charge.”