The Senate Committee on Appropriation has announced that some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government secretly smuggled over N1 trillion on projects into the N4.7 trillion budget for 2012, and may have shot up the budget to N5.7 trillion. This disclosure coincided with the approval sought by President Goodluck Jonathan from the National Assembly to borrow $7,905,690,000 to enable the Federal Govern-ment execute pipeline projects under the Medium Term Fiscal Framework (2012 – 2014).
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Ahmed Maccido, who opened the can of worms on the padding up of their respective budgets by the MDAs, alleged that over 40 per cent of the projects were not captured in the budget presented to the National Assembly by the president on December 13 last year, adding that the National Assembly would discard the projects. He said: “These projects were smuggled into the budget by the MDAs and we at the committee level would jettison them because they are not in the original budget.” “The items so smuggled into the budget are over N1 trillion. So we are right now comparing the budget as originally presented by the president and the version presented by the MDAs.