President Muhammadu Buhari has on Thursday ordered the immediate removal of 22 top directors from the Budget office.This is part of a service-wide posting involving about 184 senior staff in various ministries, departments and agencies, in the federal civil service.
According to Vanguard, these officials were flushed out of budget duties and sent to establishments that have little or nothing to do with budget, as a punishment for their roles in padding this year’s fiscal document, which is currently before the National Assembly.
It was gathered that out of the 22 top officials indicted in the budget office, four were directors on Level 17, six were deputy directors while 12 were Assistant directors. Those affected are expected to resume at their new stations on Friday, March 11.
It would be recalled that the President did threaten last month while in Saudi Arabia to punish all those who were involved in the padding of the budget.
President Buhari, who stated that he never knew what budget padding was until when the case was reported concerning the 2016 budget proposal, said that the document currently under debate differed from what was prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
The President had in August 2015 appointed Yahaya Gusau as Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, replacing Bright Okogu, who was appointed to the office in 2007 and had completed two terms of office.
But Gusau has sacked in February less than six months after, following the widespread irregularities detected in the 2016 budget and replaced with Tijjani Abdullahi. Mr. Ben Akabueze was also appointed by the President as the Special Adviser on Planning to the Minister of Budget and National Planning.
Apart from removing the Director of Budget, Mr. President also merged the budget office with the Planning Ministry.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has however, assured Nigerians that the 2016 budget will be ready by March ending.