APC Reacts To N3.7 Trillion 2024 Budget Padding Allegation

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the allegation made by Senator Abdul Ningi, representing Bauchi Central, that the 2024 budget was padded with N3.7 trillion should be investigated.

The Deputy National Organising Secretary of the APC, Nze Chidi Duru, stated this while speaking on the allegation.

Recall that Senator Ningi, in an interview with BBC Hausa, alleged that the National Assembly debated and passed N25 trillion as the 2024 budget instead of the N28.7 trillion being implemented by the Federal Government.

Ningi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated that the Northern Forum lawmakers sought the service of a private auditor and discovered irregularities in the budget.

Reacting in separate statements, the Senate and the Presidency refuted the claim that the government was running two separate budgets, adding that the budget padding allegation was false.

Speaking in a chat with The Punch, Duru doubted that such a humongous amount could be inserted in such a budget without the knowledge of the two chambers.

The APC chieftain nevertheless demanded that a thorough investigation be carried out to verify the authenticity of the allegation.

Duru stated that if Ningi was found making an unfounded claim, necessary sanctions should be imposed on him to deter others.

He said: “We are not in the Senate, and there is no way one will know the internal workings of the 10th National Assembly. But we know once a budget is passed, there are ways by which it will be harmonised.

“One will find it strange, to say the least, that such an addition outside of what has been agreed intra-chambers in a bid to have a harmonised budget, can be unilaterally inflated by one person or chamber. It will be one of the eight wonders of the world for them to consider that.

“But assuming without conceding that it was unimaginably possible, that calls for the highest level of investigation. However, I think it is too difficult to believe such a thing can happen in a chamber that is regulated and follows due process in passing the budget.’

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