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Legislators-elect urged to guard against budget padding



Mrs. Jovita Keleze, Deputy Director, Legislative Matters, Enugu State House of Assembly has urged legislators in both national and state houses of assembly to guard against budget padding.

Keleze made the call in Enugu on Monday while delivering a lecture on the `Overview of Appropriation Processes for Lawmakers’ at a workshop organised for members-elect, clerk, directors, HODs and committee clerks.

The deputy director defined budget padding as anything added to the budget after it had been passed.

She said that it was only the legislature that had the powers to increase or reduce budgetary allocation, pointing out that they could only carry out any alteration by seeking recourse to the legislature.

Keleze urged the legislators to check executive excesses that could lead to budget padding warning them to be wary of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that planned to deceive them.

“At times, one item is repeated in budget whereas it might have appeared in previous budgets,” she said

Explaining the aspects of budget padding, she said that if legislators were not careful, items such as office desks, air conditioners would repeatedly appear in a budget whereas they had been budgeted for in the past.

The deputy director, while explaining the duties of the legislators, said that on no account should the executive tamper with budgetary allocations.

She however, said that there could be virement which was not alteration but shifting money meant for a particular project from one department of a ministry to the other without changing the budget figure.