Recovered Loots Yet to Be Used to Fund Budget, Says BudgIT CEO

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Chief executive of BudgIT, a civic organisation, Mr. Seun Onigbinde

Obinna Chima and Nume Ekeghe

The chief executive of BudgIT, a civic organisation, Mr. Seun Onigbinde tuesday revealed that contrary to statements by some government officials that some of the recovered funds by the federal government had been used to fund the 2017 budget, findings by his organisation showed otherwise.

Speaking at the Meet-the-Executive’ forum organised by members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos, Onigbinde said none of the recovered funds have been used to fund the budget.

He explained: “Based on the budget analysis we have done, there is no amount of recovered funds put into the budget. It is only in 2019 and in 2020, that there is a plan to put out almost N300 billion of such in the budget.
“But that is still in 2019 and that means there is no certainty today that even part of the 2018 budget, there would be any inflow of recovered funds.”

Onigbinde described Nigeria’s annual budget as a ‘contract vending machine,’ instead of a planning document.
“Nigeria’s budget is a contract vending machine rather than a planning document. This is because a typical budget will first bring all the arms of government today and follow the goals of the ruling party.

“Then, everything you will see in the budget in terms of allocation will follow that pattern. But here, every arm wants to stuff things into the budget, so that it becomes a legal opportunity to procure.

“So, that is the problem. So, if we see the budget as a planning tool, part of the problem we have with the budget will not be coming up,” he added.

According to Onigbinde, after a country’s constitution, the second most important document is the budget that stipulates allocation of resources to members of the public.

He urged states to desist from going for foreign loans because of currency risks.
He added: “We are warning states to be careful of external debts. If it is a local debt, there could be a bailout by the federal government to reschedule your debt. But external debts, you don’t have the luxury of the federal government that receives oil in dollars.

“So, if you borrowed at N167 to a dollar and you are now paying back at N315 to a dollar, you are going to be more hit by the currency risk.

“So, it is a thing that we try to warn states about. So, you don’t see cheap loans and start jumping into it.”
Onigbinde argued that zero-budgeting system which the current administration promoted at the beginning of their regime can’t work in Nigeria, “because you have thousands of abandoned projects.”

  • Curtx Maccido

    How on earth do this guy know government hasn’t used the recovery fund…do you work with the office of accountant-general? ministry of finance?….why do we have so many arrogant lousy morons in this country? This one is arguing with government officials regarding transaction details he has no clue on it facilitated – arrogant analyst!

    • Dan

      Will you keep quiet there !!! When adults are talking, it is half baked illiterates like you that have little knowledge that will come online with your small MB and start yapping without actually reading up on the issues at stake. The Budget is the ONLY document that authorizes the Federal Govt to withdraw and spend money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. This is the ONLY recognized revenue account for all the three tiers of government (including statutory transfers). This guy studies budget for a living. That is the purpose of his organisation. And he is saying to you that no where in the budgets (including supplementary) laid before the National Assembly for appropriation are recovered looted funds included as a source of funding in the budget. This is public record. Nobody can spend those recovered funds without appropriation by the National Assembly. It is illegal to do so as that is the law of the land. Mumu !!!

      • Curtx Maccido

        Idiot…you don’t even know the difference between an illiterate and being uneducated. I possibly be the oldest person your family. How can you be so stupid and foolish at the same time? There’s nothing wrong if you and the idiots live your life on budget analysis… What’s stupid is issuing foolish statement out ignorance and ending up confusing simple issues. Most of you cowboys (another name for morons) are so uneducated and rush on issues without understanding the public sector transaction cycles and how government process works. Where in the government have you and the fool that live on budget worked? Buffon so the money into consolidated funds are usually tagged to know what has been expended from tax, customs, oil and recovery funds? Just shut your stupid mouth and go look for a valuable job rather than chatting nonsense! Mannerless punk!