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Those Who Padded 2016 Budget will not Go Unpunished, President Buhari Vows


President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia reaffirmed his commitment to fighting corruption with every breath in him, vowing that all those involved in the “padding” of the 2016 National Budget, will be tracked down and punished.
It would recall that padding of the 2016 budget, which led to the discrepancies in the document, has been a national embarrassment.
Buhari, who made the remark while addressing the Nigerian Community in Saudi Arabia, said the alterations which he described as embarrassing and disappointing, made the document being debated in the National Assembly completely different from what was prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
In a statement released on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted the President to have condemned the distortion of the budget proposals by those he called entrenched interests.
Buhari said, “The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a Military Governor, Petroleum Minister, Military Head of State and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund.
“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. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished.”
The President also assured members of the Nigerian community that his administration was working diligently to fulfill its campaign promises, particularly on security, unemployment, and corruption.
Reaffirming his government’s zero tolerance for corruption, Buhari said the war against corruption was a monumental task that he is determined to tackle successfully.
“We have zero tolerance for corruption and other unethical practices. We will deal decisively with anybody found wanting,” he promised members of the Nigerian community.
President Buhari also used the opportunity of the gathering to brief Nigerians in Saudi Arabia on his administration’s efforts to end the Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria.
“Our armed forces have done a great job of dealing decisively with Boko Haram. We are collaborating with our neighbors in the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force to handle security threats in the sub-region and we have significantly destroyed the capacity of the insurgents,” the President said.
He also spoke on efforts being made to diversify the Nigerian economy, stressing that more opportunities are now open for local and foreign investors in the country.

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