10 reasons why national budget is always padded

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Padding the budget means making the budget proposal larger than the actual estimates for the project.

This is done either by increasing a project’s expenses or decreasing its expected revenue.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara

The goal of budget padding is to get an approval committee to grant an artificially high level of funding to the budget maker’s proposed project.

There is some contention over what padding of budget is, some contend that inflating expenses to take expected inflation into account is responsible foresight rather than padding, while others see any increase beyond current estimates as padding.

READ ALSO: Budget padding: Jibrin expected at DSS, ICPC, others

Many see budget padding as unethical, but its practitioners defend it on the grounds of practicality.

Aside from the financial consequences, many people question the acceptability of budget padding because it is a deceptive practice.

About two weeks ago, Abdulmumin  Jibrin, the former chairman of the House Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin had accused the House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and three others of allocating projects worth N40 billion to themselves in the 2016 budget.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker provided a glimpse into how lawmakers routinely make billions of naira by inserting fictitious projects into the national budget each year.

Jibrin became a whistle-blower following his controversial removal as chair of the crucial committee.

Although, he admitted that the insertions into the budget by the principal officers of the House were constitutional, and it is a usual practice in the national assembly, he maintained that the insertions were outrageous and above the limit.

Here are 10 reasons why the budget is padded:

1. Creates illegal funds for politicians:

Apart from their allowances and salaries it helps them with extra funds to continue to keep their political structures and remain ‘’powerful’’.

2. Padded funds can also be laundered: Since budget padding involves secret insertion of line items so it creates an avenue for such funds to be diverted without anyone noticing.

3. Excess funds are shared at the end of the year:

The budget padding is done by group of lawmakers secretly without the knowledge of their colleagues. So this caucus now share the infused funds among themselves and they tend to repeat this year after year.

4. Padded funds are not returned to the treasury:

Since these funds are used for phony projects which do not exist, it provides an avenue for lawmakers to divert the funds for private use.

5. Extra money is used for patronages: Excess funds from budget padding are now dispensed as political patronages. So when you hear different organisations pay courtesy visits to politicians they don’t go empty handed.

6. It is a source of easy money for civil servants:

Civil servants see the budget as an avenue to enrich themselves by inflating the budget for their ministries. Some of them do this in connivance with the lawmakers.

7. Budgets are padded to anticipate a downward review by the appropriation committee:

Budget are sometimes padded by ministries to enable them to have access to funds after it is been slashed.

READ ALSO: Why I exposed Dogara late – Jibrin

8. It has been institutionalized:

It has become a norm among lawmakers who now see this inappropriate way of laundering money as the in-house legislative culture

9. It is typical of Nigerians to generally pad their expenditures:

It has become a culture for Nigerian ministries and parastatals.

10. Insatiable greed of Nigerian politicians:

The average lawmaker earns well. They also have the privileged of attracting projects to their constituencies in form of constituency’s project approved by the president. Their feeding, clothing, transportation and furniture are taken care if by the government, yet they still pad the budget to make more money.

The post 10 reasons why national budget is always padded appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Nigerian newspapers 24/7.

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