2016 Budget Update: Senate Accuses Buhari’s Aide of Making a Fake Version

Ita Enang (left) during the presentation of the 2016 budget by President Buhari to the National Assembly. Credit: Vanguard

Senator Ita Enang (left) during the presentation of the 2016 budget by President Buhari to the National Assembly. Credit: Vanguard

According to the Senate, there are two versions of the 2016 budget. The first (real) one, was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, while the second, a doctored version, was presented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Senate), Senator Ita Inang. Inang has refused to comment on the allegations.

Here are some excerpts from Vanguard,

Senator Bukola Saraki confirmed the doctoring of the budget proposals by Enang at the end of deliberations on the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petitions on the issue.

Saraki added that the available hard copy of the budget presented to the Senate was different from the one laid before the two chambers of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, shortly before both chambers embarked on Yuletide break last December. Senate officials, however, shied away from pointing out the differences between the two copies yesterday. Saraki stated,

“We have received the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on investigations surrounding 2016 Appropriation Bill. Our finding is that Senator Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang printed copies of the 2016 Appropriation Bill and brought to the Senate.

“We have discovered that what he brought is different from the version presented by Mr President. We have resolved to consider only the version presented by Mr President as soon as we receive soft copy of the original document from the executive.”

“Our findings are these: That Mr. President did lay the budget before the joint session of the National Assembly and thereafter, the Senate went on recess and upon resumption, copies of the document were produced by Senator Ita Enang, who is the SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) and the copies were submitted to the Senate and House of Representatives.

“What we found out is that the document submitted by Senator Ita Enang, upon our resumption, has some differences, discrepancies with what was originally laid by Mr. President in the joint sitting of the National Assembly.

“However, the Senate in defence of its own integrity, honour, will not work with what has not been laid on the floor of the National Assembly. We are constitutionally mandated and duty bound to consider only that budget that had been so laid by Mr President.

“Right now, for reproduction, we are awaiting the soft copy of the originally submitted budget so that the National Assembly can reproduce the copy itself. That is the only time we can have confidence in the document we want to work with.

“The budget submitted by the President is not missing; we already have copies of it but what we are saying is that for us to reproduce for our members, it is easier, based on the quantum of document that has to be produced, that we get the soft copy of that original version so that we can reproduce it.”

He disclosed that the Senate has fixed Tuesday, next week to discuss the budget, saying copies of the document would be circulated to senators when the soft copy demanded from the presidency was received.

Enang told journalists who sought his view on the matter that he would not join issues with senators.

“I have chosen not to comment on this issue for personal reasons.

‘’We must work together to make the Senate as an institution to grow. The President is my boss and the senators are my bosses. I won’t join issues with them. So, let the whole matter remain as it is”, he said.

12 Comments on 2016 Budget Update: Senate Accuses Buhari’s Aide of Making a Fake Version
  • Ama January 15, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Senate house of commotion. So why did you tell us that it was missing if not that you were trying to connive.

    • Missy J January 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Same thing I’m asking. They play way too much.
      Which one is even ‘fake’ budget??? The President read one on National TV so why the confusion? And why did Mr President’s aide present another budget? The more I think of the whole situation the more confused I get .

  • Awoyo January 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    …sometimes you don’t know who to believe.

    On a separate note, I am saddened that the Senate President has a case in court and he’s still

    in post. The drive for power…

  • prince January 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I heard this stuff on CHANNELS TV yester-nite and was the main topic as I was driving to the office this morning. This is not too serious matter na. Maybe the President realize there was a mistake and they have to fix it.

    Meanwhile, how did the budget left the Senate Chambers in the fist place. Those Senators have some explanations to make.

    • Dodoyo January 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Retards like you are the ones giving Nigeria a bad name, what do you mean “this is not a too serious matter” are you for real????

  • Tkum January 15, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    na so..na like that them dey use una head finish!!.. What the aide did is purely crime!!! that man should be charged to court in a sane country!!! He doctored my people!! so much for fighting corruption yimu… Buhari and co-horts we see you ooo… after realising your budget was much compared to that of former president GEJ with the media and co questioning you about it..you decided to play that stunt… Issorai.. We the Nigerians that know wat we want, are watching you…

  • Taipan January 15, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    @Prince its shameful you will call a mistake in a country’s budget “Small matter”……your opinion anyways, this shows clearly the president doesn’t know what he’s doing. ….Economic team zero, they cannot forecast oil bench mark.., 1 dollar = 305naira, no respect for the rule of law, fuel crisis, …..prayers doesn’t even work for this country anymore because God gave us everything in a platter of gold and only a few has eaten deep into our resource…our economy is just based on oil.. he should keep chasing looters based on sentiments while oil price keep dropping, very soon oil price will be 1dollar let everybody rest

  • Chinel January 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    What’s all this nonsense bikonu???? Is all this supposed to be a joke?

  • Chinel January 15, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    We are in the middle of the worst economic crises ever. The naira is becoming useless, people are losing their jobs and these people are talking about fake budget ?? At this time? What kind of Joke of a government is this? What the hell is wrong with these people??????

  • Debby Dibs January 15, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    If we really, really think about this, we will see that Enang is a scapegoat here, for a president that refuses to take responsibility for changes he made after the public outcry to the first budget – one in which hundreds of millions were to be used to connect cable to a driver’s bathroom among other clear scams. I feel sorry for Enang – if I were you I would stick with no comment. Everyone who is insulting Saraki, should please identify the motive for letting the budget go missing AND doctoring it (it’s not like the Senate had to take a pay cut in the prior budget – it’s business as usual).

  • ElessarisElendil January 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Ahh democracy always finds ways to take what little faith I have in it and crush it!!

    This is complete utter bullshit!! doublespeak at work. Big Brother would be proud.

    “That Mr. President did lay the budget before the joint session of the National Assembly”: Meaning the SENATE and the House.

    “thereafter, the Senate went on recess and upon resumption, copies of the document were produced by Senator Ita Enang, who is the SSA to the President”: Key word SSA to the PRESIDENT!!! So after the President had presented the budget does it not pass to the possession of the SENATE??? Does this not mean the Senate Clerk should assume possession???

    There is no avoiding that the SENATE messed up and that the SENATE president should grow and pair and assume responsibility. At least try and justify the N5bn we’re spending to build you a house FFS.

  • lanya January 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Lol, these people are jesters. So a whole budget can get missing abi get doctored or whatever they’re saying has happened to it when they’re over 100 lawmakers in the country. Even undergraduate project students know the importance of soft copies and storing in different locations but Issokay. meanwhile I have the appropriation bill on my phone, awon Senate if you want, come and collect it. Bullcrap!!

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