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Budget Padding: A New Trick Corrupt Nigerian Politicians Devised To Loot Our Treasury Dry

budget padding nigeria

Friday August 19, 2016 – Budget Padding: A New Trick Corrupt Nigerian Politicians Devised To Loot The Nation’s Treasury Dry

Budget Padding: A New way to Steal ? an article by Tony Ogunlowo

As the budget padding controversy rages on members of the public wonder what’s next.

When it comes to pilfering public funds Nigerian politicians ought to be awarded a Nobel Prize for the ingenious ways they devise to keep their fingers in the till. They will always find a way to circumvent whatever security firewalls are put in place.

Gone are the days when politicians used to be content with a ten percent commission from contracts awarded to friends and families. Now its widespread looting as seen in the days of the tenure of ex-President Goodluck. Then it was as if certain politicians had a key to the back door to the Treasury and helped themselves to whatever they wanted.

When President Buhari was sworn in last year he embarked upon a campaign to rid the country of corruption.

He was wrong.

Under his watch the sneaky politicians had devised a new way to steal money and without a doubt it’s been going on, for a while, unnoticed. It’s called ‘budget padding’.

To the uninitiated budget padding simply means you indulge in a bit of creative accounting and inflate the budget of a ministry, department or project, by a number of extra zeros for instance, to accommodate any unforeseen expenses. So if you have budget of N10 Million Naira you add a further N2.5 Million Naira to ‘pad’ it. Legally it’s okay to do this (even though it’s deemed by the experts to be unethical and wasteful) as long as the excess, you no longer need, is remitted back to the Treasury at the end of the financial year and not creamed off into the back pockets of those who intend to steal it.

So the 2016 budget has been inflated by more than 40 Billion Naira and the President is furious. He swiftly re-assigned 184 key budget officials (- perhaps sacked some!) and brought in the EFCC to investigate.

It’s all and fair that the officials will be investigated and punished but the key question to ask is who ordered it. Most of those re-deployed officials were merely just following instructions handed down to them by somebody higher up. As employees who are they to question their employer/Boss’ orders?

There are quite a few key suspects but since the matter is being dealt with by the EFCC and the courts it’ll be wrong to name anyone – innocent until proven guilty! And if the Nigerian judiciary is anything to go by securing a conviction might take till eternity since our politicians are a dab hand at playing the system.

Those accused might try to use the legal loophole that what they were doing was legal and the excess money would be returned to the Treasury at the end of the financial year – and not into their pockets as we all know was the true intention.

So budget padding is the new way to steal money? What’s next



  1. Big Aunty Koks

    August 19, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    The hullabaloo raised over budget padding is some diversion and waste of energy since as the writer pointed out it is not illegal and whatever is not spent is intended to be returned to the treasury. If the practice is to be made illegal, perhaps there should be a law placing some ceiling beyond which budget padding becomes illegal and the nation can move on from this debate.
    This is more so because all said and done, Budget is mere “ESTIMATE” until the proposal is approved and money appropriated for a particular project or sub-head. Even in times of very buoyant financial standing of Government, the budgetary allocations had never been exhausted by most agencies of Government and even genuine and often needed projects or ventures are not approved for execution and sometimes gets rolled over on to the subsequent fiscal year. This argument over budget padding therefore reminds me of a story whereby the youngest son of a herdsman grumbled aloud to the members of his family that he suffered too much looking after the family herd of cattle and that he will one day sell one of the cows and buy himself a radio. The complain so incensed the rest of his family members that the other sons with active approval of both parents beat up their “offending” brother until he collapsed and died. The question everybody ended up asking then was ” what cow did the young man sell that he was killed for the offense?” .
    Let us therefore proceed and address the economic challenges facing the nation since everybody now knows about possibility of budget padding and will be on the look- out to ensure it does not occur in future.

  2. huchennar

    August 19, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    i must commend the writer of this post for putting this up (kudos bro). i was taking aback when i first heard about the word budget-padding i never really know what it meant i thought of the word “pad” then i concluded that it was a way of helping and strengthen our budget never knowing that it was newly derived by our house of assembly in other to confuse us and also confuse our “oga at the top” (controversial school certificate holder).
    The current administration as vowed to fight corruption and give zero tolerance to it but it is an open fact that under his nose such thing are still happening.
    imagine Nigeria 2016 budget being padded with 40billion Naira (WTF) a budget that the country could finance on it own now padded with forty billion.

  3. huchennar

    August 19, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    @ogunlowo there shouldn’t be any question-mark at the front of that sentence “budget padding is the new way of stealing money”.. i wondered why every member of the house wanted to be the principal officer for such irresponsible act
    … i think it high time our president and his people including our own @omokehinde stop this blaming thing and look for a solution for us if they have any..

    (where is @D_HUNTER)

  4. sola olaniyi

    August 19, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    any politician paddling our budget heh…so will God pad his life

  5. fifelomo

    August 19, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    What are they paddling? another wicked way of wasting the national fund.

  6. Truce

    August 19, 2016 at 7:21 PM

    Our politicians will always devise means of how to steal, whenever they are caught doing something they will open up another door to commit their heinous crimes.
    Until d day those corrupt leaders are all killed, dis country will continue to suffer in their hands. God help ur people.


    August 19, 2016 at 11:24 PM


    • Maryf

      August 31, 2016 at 10:46 PM

      You are on point

  8. Maryf

    August 31, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    Its only God that will deliver Nigeria leaders

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