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Apologies for “padded” budget

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma
As an unrepentant Buharist, I have been strident and vociferous in my defense of his actions and inactions before and after he assumed office as President, especially how he trounced former President Goodluck Jonathan during the election. 

I have defended the 2016 Appropriation Bill (2016 Budget Proposals) with characteristic gusto and firmness, and this has rubbed some of my friends who are inclined towards opposing the President and his party, the APC, on the wrong side. I was certain there was no such thing as padding-not with PMB at the helm and they were certain there was “padding”. But I now know otherwise.

I have now realized, following Mr. President’s own admission yesterday, that indeed there must have been “padding” of the budget. 

Hear Mr. President: “Never had I heard the words ‘budget padding’. Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team. The minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it. What he gave us was not what was finally being debated (at the National Assembly). It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished.”

Like PMB, I have never heard about padding of budget. As a matter of fact, my only recollection of the word “padded” has to do with a particular model of Mercedes Benz V-Booth, which had a wider body and was, therefore, referred to as PADDED. I also know some ladies are padded, if you get my drift. Hahahahahaha! Seriously, what I am used to, in the private sector where I currently operate, is activity-based budgeting where projects (OPEX and CAPEX) are estimated and revenues projected based on forecasts and market/trend analyses including dollar exchange rate. I reckon the process would be different with government budgets. 

Whatever be the case, I want to apologize for defending the padded budget. I particularly want to apologize to my friends on Facebook (they know themselves) with whom I fought endless battles over this matter. I await the outcome of the investigation into this embarrassment and, of course, the eventual punishing of those found wanting-in the process.

I’m sorry guys. Thank you for keeping the government on its toes. This must rank as the most analyzed and most criticized budget in the history of this country. It doesn’t make it the worst, but fact is that others escaped without scrutiny. Again, I apologize. 
Apologies for “padded” budget Apologies for “padded” budget Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Sunday, February 28, 2016 Rating: 5

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