• Saturday, April 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Budget padding: All ranking senators got ₦500 million each, I didn’t get – PDP senator raises alarm

There was a rowdy session on the senate floor on Tuesday after Jarigbe Jarigbe, representing Cross River North, raised the alarm that ranking senators got the sum of ₦500 million each.

Jarigbe, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this during the debate on budget padding allegation leveled against the leadership of the senate by Abdul Ningi, representing Bauchi Central.

In an interview with BBC Hausa during the weekend, Ningi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alleged the budget was padded and that President Bola Tinubu is currently implementing two different budgets.

He said, “For the first time in Nigerian history, today we are operating two different budgets. One budget was approved by the National Assembly and signed by President Bola Tinubu and the one was implemented by the presidency.

“The one approved by us is ₦25tn while the one operating by Federal Government is ₦28tn.

“Apparently, we discovered ₦3tn was inserted into the budgets for projects without locations. This is the highest budget padding that happened in Nigerian history under Senator Akpabio’s watch.”

Olamilekan Adeola, representing Ogun West, had come under orders 9, 10, 41, and 51 to move a motion of privilege and issue of national importance against Ningi over his interview.

Speaking on the matter, Jarigbe stated that the issue had been clarified that there missing N3.7tn, as alleged by Ningi, had been clarified under the Government Owned Enterprises and first line charge.

He said, “I thought this issue should have ended when the chairman of Committee on Appropriation, explained that the N3.7tn were under GOEs and the first line charge.

“That explains everything but if we want to express our grouse, I also have mine and we are all culpable. After all, all the ranking senators got N500m each. I am a ranking senator and I didn’t get.”

The Senate was immediately thrown into a rowdy session after Jarigbe’s comment.