Budget Padding Scam: President Buhari Says, Culprits Will Not Go Unpunished
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that all those found wanting in the 2016 budget padding scam will not go unpunished.
The President said this while responding to questions at a meeting with members of the Nigerian Community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Buhari, said he never knew what budget padding was, until the case came up in the 2016 budget, he vowed to fish out the culprits and deal decisively with them to serve as deterrent to others.
He announced that his administration had introduced a number of policies and programmes aimed at saving the nation’s economy from collapse.
He cited the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Zero-based Budget as some of the meaningful financial policies introduced by the Federal Government to check fraud in the system, saying it had started yielding fruitful results.
According to him, the nation has so far realised over N2.6 trillion from the newly introduced TSA.
The President expressed optimism that with the introduction of the TSA, the 2016 budget implementation might not record any form of deficit at the end of the financial year.
He also expressed his administration’s determination to tackle the menace of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
On corruption, Buhari said his administration will not relent in the fight against corruption in the society.
He, therefore, assured that the APC-led Federal Government had zero tolerance for corruption and other unethical practices.
He said “this government will do everything within the provision of the constitution to recover stolen funds and put an end to corrupt practices.
“This will be done by empowering relevant government agencies and institutions to carry out the task of nipping corruption in the bud and dealing decisively with anyone found wanting.”
He revealed that the Federal Government was working to fully diversify the economy, which in essence would open up new opportunities for Nigerian entrepreneurs and foreign investors.
On the request for the establishment of an international school to cater for Nigerian children in Saudi Arabia, the establishment of a branch of Nigerian bank and provision of passport machine in Riyadh, Buhari pledged that relevant authorities of government would look into the issues.
He then directed the Nigerian Embassy in Riyadh to make necessary contacts with the relevant ministries with a view to addressing some of the challenges raised at the meeting.
The President said that the government had since begun addressing the challenge of unemployment, with a view of addressing the situation and restoring the confidence and trust of Nigerians including those in the diaspora.
He commended the Charge’ D Affaires, the Consular General and all the members of staff of the Nigerian Embassy and the Consulate for working tirelessly to ensure the success of his visit and expressed his sincere gratitude to all Nigerians living in Saudi Arabia, for their your solidarity and overwhelming support for his candidature during the last presidential election.
The Charge’ D Affaires, Amb. Tijjani Hamman-Joda, in his remarks, thanked the President for finding time to visit and address members of the Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia.
The event featured the presentation of gifts to the President by various Nigerian groups based in that country.