Vol. 5, Issue 1 (2020)
The politics of budget padding and Nigeria’s national development in the fourth republic: 2016 “budget of change” in focus
Author(s): Monday E Dickson, Okon Eminue
Abstract: This study examined the challenges posed by “budget padding” on Nigeria’s national development. The paper adopted the descriptive research technique and gathered relevant data from documentary sources. The study contextualized budget within the vortex of national development and highlighted the numerous discrepancies and anomalies detected in the 2016 Draft Estimates, which threw up over N284 billion worth of padding. Aided by conspiracy theory as the framework for analysis, the study identified Bureaucrats, National Assemblymen, contractors and businessmen as constituting “the budget mafia” that perpetrated budget padding. Findings from the study revealed that from inception of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in 1999, the National Assembly’s consideration of successive annual budgets have been enshrouded in pathological secrecy, bolstered by the in-built principle of separation of powers, checks and balances and bedecked by “padding”. The article concluded that “budget padding” is one of the most obvious forms by which budget-related corruption had underdeveloped Nigeria. The study recommended, among other pro-active measures, the discontinuation of Constituency Projects, which it identified as the veritable source of “budget padding” in Nigeria in recent years.