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Senate explains alleged N3trn 2024 budget padding



Senate on Tuesday explained that the N3trillion alleged to be padded in 2024 budget was actually statutory transfers to first line charge agencies of government not domiciled in the ministries.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity Sen.Yemi Adaramodu gave the explanation, while speaking with journalists on the suspension of Sen. Abdul Ningi over alleged padding of 2024 budget.

Adaramodu said the 10th Senate needed to be treasured as pillar of democracy and would only do what would promote national interest

He said there was nothing like budget padding, saying that the false narrative on N3trillion padding was a demonstration of error of arithmetic and innocent of procedure by the protagonists of budget padding.

“The N3 trillion is for statutory transfers of government agencies on the first lines charges.”

He listed the agencies to include Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC)Public Complaints Commission, National Judicial Council, North East Development (NEDC), Commission Niger -Delta Development Commission Commission(NDDC) among others.

He also dismissed the issue of provision of N500 million as constituency fund to senators, describing the allegation as a ferry tale.

He urged journalists to study the 2024 budget to investigate allocations to National Assembly.

He said the issue of budget padding was a negative connotation and a serious crime in budgeting , hence senate didn’t take it lightly.

“It is a matter of integrity, issue of budget has been put to rest as the protagonist of the budget padding were called to substantiate and they could not prove it but the allegations can not just go without been attended to.

“The Appropriation Act is a public document and when it was done,it was done in the public glare and it was N28.77 trillion and so for some to say N25 trillion was what was approved is scary.

“Statutory transfers for agencies on first line charges, that are not domiciled in the Ministries was what Ningi said was padded, that the allocation can not be traced.”

He reiterated that the N3 trillion was not padded, was not missing, but was for agencies of government that were placed on first line charge.

He also said the allegation that a section of the country was allocated more funds than other regions was not put in right perspective, saying that allocations was done sectoriallly.

The Senate image maker said the integrity of National Assembly was in question, hence the matter was treated with the seriousness it deserved.

Kingsley Okoye

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