BY VICTOR BUOR, ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Monday said that it is worrisome that the Buhari Presidency has failed to make details of its yearly budget and expenditure public, despite several demands for openness, which raises anxieties and allegations of huge sleazes and corrupt concealments against certain officials and cabal in the Presidency.
The PDP therefore challenged the Buhari Presidency to lead by example by publishing details of its spending and financial transactions as an impetus to enforce its financial reporting directives on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
It also tasked the Presidency to publish details, including the beneficiaries, the purpose and the amount of each payment, in line with the Presidential directive to the MDAs.
These were contained in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in which the Party stressed that it is not enough for President Muhammadu Buhari to issue spending directives to MDAs, without his Presidency, which received billions of naira in budgetary allocation, leading by example.
Ologbondiyan said that Nigerians deserve to know how much is allocated to the Presidency, the various expenditure subheads, process of award of contracts, the contractors, the beneficiaries, amounts paid and payment system.
According to him; “Perhaps such would explain why certain individuals who are close to the Presidency live in ostentatious opulence and flaunt very expensive lifestyle in the same country where millions of citizens wallow in abject poverty, hunger, homelessness and disease.”
The PDP noted what it described as the “several ugly scenarios” around the Presidency, including that arrest, in October, of a suspected scammer, Abdulrauf Illyasu, who even enjoyed an office accommodation within the safety and cover of the Presidential villa.
The Party further said; “This is in addition to the arrest of a said confidant of Mr. President, Nasir Danu, at Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom, for alleged international passport scam and money laundering while allegedly ferrying currencies for persons said to be close to the Presidency.”
The PDP also reminded Nigerians of the case of the former aide to the First Lady, Mr. Baba-Inna, arrested for alleged financial fronting as well as the confession of one Amina Mohammed who, while being paraded by the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2018, stated in public that persons close to the Presidency were involved in serial fraud and looting of public resources under the cover of the some elements in the Presidency.
Accordingly, the PDP challenged the Presidency to clear these anxieties by opening up and publishing details of its budget and expenditure for Nigerians to see.