Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Budget Padding: Senator Ningi, others didn’t understand arithmetic – Tinubu 

President Bola Tinubu says lawmakers who alleged that the 2024 budget had been embellished did not understand the arithmetic of the appropriation act. 

Tinubu spoke on Thursday night, during an iftar gathering of members of the senate, at the presidential villa.

Iftar is a meal taken by Muslims at sundown to break the daily Ramadan fast.

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On November 29, Tinubu presented the sum of N27 trillion as the proposed budget for the 2024 fiscal year, to the national assembly. On December 30, the national assembly passed the appropriation bill, increasing its size from N27.5 trillion proposed by Tinubu to N28.7 trillion.

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Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi Central, stirred controversy when he alleged that the 2024 budget was padded by N3 trillion and that the country is operating two budgets concurrently. Following the claims, the senate debated the matter at the “committee of the whole”.

Subsequently, the senator was suspended for three months for allegedly not providing evidence to back his allegations.

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Godswill Akpabio, senate president, had said many Nigerians would no longer trust the upper legislative chamber because of the allegation.

“Nigerians are bashing the senate. Many Nigerians will never in future come back to respect this chamber. The integrity of this chamber has been totally damaged and we wanted you to repair it with your speech,” Akpabio told Ningi. 

Addressing the legislators on the budget padding claims, Tinubu said the integrity of the senate is intact.

“I know the arithmetic of the numbers that I brought to the senate and I know what I got back,” the president said.

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“And I appreciate all of you for the expeditious handling of the budget. Thank you very much. Those who are talking of malicious embellishment in the budget didn’t understand the arithmetic and they didn’t refer to the numbers… the baseline of what I brought.

“All of your integrity is intact. I am very grateful for what you have been doing.”

Tinubu assured Nigerians that the challenges and economic hardship in the country will soon be over.

“The natural challenge that we face will be over,” he added. “On the economic challenge, we are about turning the corner.”


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