OrderPaperToday- Auditor- General of the Federation ( AGF), Samuel Ukura on Thursday contradicted President Muhammadu Buhari on template adopted for details of the N6.08trillion 2016 budget estimates, saying it was an enveloped based budgeting and not zero based as earlier declared by the President.

Ukura who made the categorical statement when put on the spot by members of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts ( SPAC) at the budget Defence session of his Office, said though the earlier intension by the present government was to adopt zero based budgeting as a template, but realities on ground , later forced it  to adopt the usual enveloped based budgeting.

According to him, even the N2.9billion budget estimates of his office for this year, had not arrived at by them through zero budgeting but handed over to them as an envelope by the Ministry of Finance.

“Budgets of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government this year are all enveloped based and not zero based as it has been the case over the years, including that of my office, which is even largely done for us by the supervising ministry”, he said.

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Even when reminded  by Senators Akpan Bassey ( PDP Akwa Ibom North East) and Foster  Ogola ( PDP Bayelsa West),that his submission on the 2016 budget template ran contrary to the earlier one made before the joint session of the National Assembly by President  Muhammadu Buhari in December last year when he presented the budget, the Auditor- General said:
“This year’s budget is enveloped, and not zero based in anyway”.

“It is envelope. The zero-based budgeting, they wanted to introduce was not adhered to, at the end of the day.

In zero-based budgeting, it is assumed that such expenditure does not exist, you start from zero and justify why that expenditure must be used. And at the end of it, the result you are going to get out of it. So, it is a system which is good and which would have also helped to set targets, but that wasn’t applied at the end of the day, perhaps, because it was hurriedly being introduced.”

He also remarked that “budget proposal and by extension, defence is not about fighting but discussing on what is made available for one to work it, because what they want, they give”.

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