By Clifford Ndujihe, Deputy Political Editor
IF the National Assembly passes President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2017 N7.298 trillion budget as proposed, the country will spend a hefty sum of N5.41 billion as cost of preparing the budget.
A host of ministries, departments and agencies of government allocated various sums of money to preparation and administration of the budget. Known as Annual Budget Expenses and Administration, ABEA with the code 22021014, it appeared 229 times in the 1296-page 2017 Appropriation Bill being considered by the National Assembly.
Specifically, ABEA accounts for N1.065 billion of the budget proposal. The Ministry of Budget and National Planning as well as the Budget Office of the Federation, whose core duties are preparation of the budget had provisions for ABEA. While the Budget Office proposed N101,532,159 for budget expenses and administration, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning had N59,239,205.
Indeed, the Ministry of Education allocated N19.62million to budget preparation, defence and administration. The Ministry of Labour and Productivity had two provisions for ABEA. The first is N10 million and the second is N3.439 million totalling N13.439 million.
In the budget proper, President Muhammadu Buhari allocated the sum of N1,706,740,863 to the Budget Office of the Federation and N2,635,678,906 to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
The sum of the budgets of the ministry, agency and allocations to ABEA shows that recession-ravaged tax payers would spend N5.41 billion on budget related issues in 2017, if the National Assembly leaves the figures untouched.