President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Tijjani Mohammed Abdullahi as Director-General of Budget after firing the incumbent, Aliyu Yahaya Gusau.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement yesterday,  described Malam Abdullahi  as a certified accountant and a banker of repute with experience in managing public finance.

He said the new Director-General of Budget was expected to work with the Minister of Budget and National Planning to deliver on the mandates of the Budget Office.
The presidential aide said Buhari had also appointed Mr Ben Ifeanyi Akabueze as Special Adviser to the President on National Planning. He will work with the Minister of National Planning Udoma Udo-Udoma.
"Mr Akabueze was a former commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State.
He had worked in senior management positions in Citi Bank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa, NAL Merchant Bank, Sterling Bank and BIA Consulting Limited, among others.
"He is Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers; Fellow, Institute of Credit Administrators and Honorary Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers", Adesina said.
The sacking of Gusau, who was appointed by Buhari in August last year, came in the wake of the budget fiasco which forced the National Assembly to suspend the budget defence by ministers last week.
Many unapproved figures running into billions had found their way into the budget.
These were only discovered when ministers and top officials turned up for budget defence before National Assembly committees.
Reports of errors, padding up of figures, changing of whole ministries' budgets, smuggling of strange items, among others, were made during the budget defences at the National Assembly.
The controversy over the 2016 budget proposal started last month with the allegation that it went missing in the Senate.
In an interview with State House correspondents yesterday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume said the executive proposed the budget in a rush.
He said that was why some controversies were trailing the budget, emphasising that the National Assembly was not "holding on" to it.
Ndume said this was the first time the legislature and the executive were collectively working on a national budget proposal to ensure its implementation.
"This budget was done in a rush, and you know there are some issues that are cropping up. It is no longer going to be business as usual. So, those unusual things, if detected, we'll work on them," he said. 
On why the Senate suspended the passage of the budget, Ndume said they are working on it daily.
He said:  "The matter is not about a date [of the budget's passage]. If we can finish it today, we will hand it over for signature tomorrow. In those days, we just passed budgets that were normally not implemented."
Last week, Health Minister Professor Isaac Adewole shocked members of the Senate Committee on Health when he told them that the original budget of his ministry had been largely distorted.
Adewole urged the committee to discard the proposal and await a new estimate to be re-submitted.
Also, Information Minister Lai Mohammed,    during a  budget defence, disowned a provision of N398 million for computers by his ministry, saying it was strange to him.

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