A former Senator from Ekiti State, Babafemi Ojudu has revealed that the budget padding which many Nigerians now see as new thing was not actually new at all, as the padding of budget was a routine crime perpetrated under former President Goodluck Jonathan without fear of been checked or exposed
Ojudu who reportedly spoke on Budget Padding Under Goodluck Jonathan said;
"In my state in 2013, they budgeted for the construction of five roads in Ekiti State and I picked up the budget, looked at the details. How could you say you are building a road in Kebbi, a town in Nasarawa State and you put it in Ekiti State?
Apparently some groups were playing games in the ministry of works. And I shouted and cried out to the minister that, “This is wrong! This is theft!”
They called me in and tried to pacify me but I said, “No. What you should do is, if there are roads to be constructed in Ekiti, construct them in Ekiti. If there are no roads to be constructed in Ekiti, remove these items from the budget.”
"Severally things like that happened under the previous administration and had been happening, at all levels of the preparation, presentation and approval of the budget. So, the President is saying this is not going to happen. People involved are not yet used to this new way. They are still fighting. They are still kicking and they have their plans. May be you want to tell somebody with building in Dubai that he wants to complete based on what he is going to make from this budget. Everybody who is involved is angry.
That is why you are seeing these. If they absorb this new system of doing things this year, seamlessly, the budget will be passed next year without any controversy because they would have been used to this new system. So, the fact that this controversy itself is coming out is to show that there is a change in place.
"Under previous governments, the budget would go through the ministries and the budget office padded, then to the National Assembly and the National Assembly would also add its own padding. They would give the highlights of the budget to the president and he signed. As he was signing, they were adding more to it, and there were billions of naira free out there for people to share.
"But this President is saying, “No way. Whatever leaves my ministry and passed to the budget office must be the one that gets to the National Assembly and must be the one that comes to me fully without any padding before I sign.” That is change for you.