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BREAKING: ‘I Stand By What I Said’, Ningi Insists N3.7trn Budget Padding by Akpabio

Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu Reporting

Abuja, Nigeria

Senator Abdul Ningi has maintained that projects worth N3.7 trillion in the 2024 Appropriation Act are not traceable.

Ningi made the claim on Monday during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, alleging that the National Assembly debated and passed N25 trillion as 2024 budget and not the N28.7 trillion that is being implemented by the federal government.

The senator also accused the Tinubu administration of not being fair to all sections of the country by the ongoing implementation of the budget.

Ningi had said the forum would take it up with the Senate President, Goodwill Akpabio, and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Reacting to the allegations, Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy in a statement on Sunday said the claim by Senator Ningi was “false and there is no truth whatsoever in the allegation”.

Onanuga said: “Contrary to the strange view expressed by Senator Ningi, there was no way the Senate could have debated and passed a N25 trillion budget that was not presented to the National Assembly. We don’t expect a ranking Senator not to pay due attention to details before making wild claims.

“It is also important to let Nigerians know that the budget that President Tinubu signed into law on January 1, 2024 as passed by the National Assembly was N28.7 Trillion. The National Assembly, in its wisdom, increased the amount proposed by the Executive by N1.2 trillion.”

But speaking with journalists at the senate on Monday, Ningi stood his ground, saying he was prepared for actions to be taken against him.

“I am not afraid of suspension by the Senate. I stand by what I said: N3.7 trillion not traced to any project in the 2024 Budget.

“I spoke for myself and not on behalf of the Northern Senator Forum. I never said the federal government is operating with two budgets. I only said N25 trillion was traced to projects and N3.7 trillion was not traced to any project.”



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