Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has told President Muhammadu Buhari that the sacking of the Director General of Budget, Yahaya Gusau and appointment of a new one would not suffice for the national embarrassment his government brought on Nigerians as seen in the 2016 budget.
Fayose said the only way to appease Nigerians would be for the president to immediately withdrawn the budget from the National Assembly and compile a new and error free one.
His view was issued in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka. The Governor said what the controversial 2016 budget required was a holistic approach, not just making one person scapegoat.
He accused the government of trying to use budget padding to steal from Nigerians. He said “Though it is good that the President listened to my call for the punishment of those responsible for the national embarrassment, mere sacking of officers at the Budget Office will not remove the stain splashed on Nigeria by the shameful budget.”
The governor said; “Sacking one or two persons on this budget scam is just like using some people as cover-up for the national embarrassment caused by the President himself. Even the President himself signed a letter wrongly dated as October 22, 2016 and one is tempted to ask who the President will sack for these avoidable errors.
“Or was it the sacked DG of Budget Office the one who unilaterally put all those bogus figures like N3.8 billion for Aso Villa Clinic, N780 million for website in one single ministry, and others in the budget?
“In my own opinion, it is necessary that those handling the President should bring it to his consciousness that he is not God that cannot make mistakes and this budget scam must be seen as part of the mistakes that President Buhari is capable of making.
“By doing this, the President will be provided with another opportunity to re-present the Budget because I wonder how Nigeria can operate on a budget already disowned by notable ministers, including the government’s spokesperson.
“Or what remedy can anyone do to a budget in which 2015 budgetary allocations of an agency was reproduced verbatim? Even N180 million was discovered to have been allocated to NIMET twice.”