President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that the distortions in the 2016 budget into which series of rogue projects and figures were injected will not take place in the 2017 budget.
He spoke at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday while receiving members of the Governance Support Group (GSG) led by Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
“I am waiting for the 2017 budget to be brought to us in council. Any sign of padding anywhere, I will remove it,” he said.
The president recalled that he had been in government since 1975, but never heard the word ‘padding’ till the 2016 budget.
He vowed that such would never happen again under his watch.
He said his administration stood by its tripod campaign promises of securing Nigeria, reviving the economy and fighting corruption.
He lamented that some people were deliberately turning blind eyes to the prevailing realities in the country.
“They don’t want to reflect on the situation in which we are, economically. They want to live the same way, they simply want business as usual,” he said.
On the various anti-corruption cases before the courts, Buhari said he believed that the current cleansing would lead to a better judiciary.
“When people are sentenced, Nigerians will believe that we are serious,” he said.
On election violence in the country, Buhari said: “I agonised over the elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers states. We should have passed the stage in which people are beheaded because of who occupies certain offices. If we can’t guarantee decent elections, then we have no business being around. Edo State election was good, and I expect Ondo State election to be better.”
President Buhari also stated that the progress being made in agriculture and exploitation of solid minerals had raised a lot of hope.
Earlier, Nwajiuba had acknowledged that the Buhari administration had succeeded to a large extent in the fights against corruption and insecurity.
He said his group was optimistic that the economy would soon experience a turn-around, as the government was working very hard in that direction.
He said the group believed that Buhari’s biggest constituency was the poor and lowly, and recommended what it called “a social re-armament of the poor.”