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April 23, 2024
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National Assembly (NASS) complex

Northern senators’ forum dissociates self from Ningi’s budget padding allegation

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By Naomi Sharang

The Northern Senators Forum has dissociated itself from Sen. Abdul Ningi’s (PDP-Bauchi) allegation that the N28.7 trillion 2024 budget was padded.

The forum said this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

“We, the undersigned on behalf of the senators from the 19 northern states and the FCT, hereby state that Sen. Ningi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who also happens to be the chairman of our forum, was on his own in the claims he made on the BBC Hausa Service on the 2024 budget.

“As such, the view he expressed was his personal opinion, sentiment and unfortunately skewed, incorrect and misleading.

“That there was never a time where we held a meeting and mandated Ningi to address the press on the said matter.

“That the budget was presented to the National Assembly during a joint session of the two chambers-Senate and House of Representatives by President Bola Tinubu on Nov. 29, 2023.

“That both chambers of the National Assembly diligently and meticulously debated, processed and passed the proposal of the President and satisfied with it, the President assented to it,” it said.

The forum added: “It is clear that the President presented a budget of N27. 5 trillion to the National Assembly and the Assembly passed a budget of N28.7 trillion.

“This was based on the need to make increases or decreases in the appropriations of the various MDAs.

“Which is in tandem with the legislative powers of the National Assembly in order to address critical projects and services across various sectors.

“Therefore, the statement made by Ningi that the 2024 Budget presented to the National Assembly by the President was the sum of N25 trillion was not correct and that should not be taken as the position of forum.”

“To the best of our knowledge, there was no budget padding, whatsoever that was done to the 2024 Budget.

“We the northern senators are solidly behind President Bola Tinubu, and we will continue to support him to succeed in addressing the challenges facing our country”. (NAN)

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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