‘I’m Ready For Suspension’ – Senator Ningi Clarifies Statement On N3.7 Trillion Projects In 2024 Budget

The Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Abdul Ningi, has asserted that he was misquoted regarding the 2024 Appropriation Act.

Recall that Senator Ningi, in an interview with BBC Hausa, alleged that the National Assembly debated and passed N25 trillion as the 2024 budget and not 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.

In a chat with Channels TV on Monday, the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum stated that he is ready for suspension, stressing that he never suggested that President Bola Tinubu is implementing two budgets or biased against the North.

Ningi also clarified that he stands by his utterance as a Senator and not the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum.

He added that it has been established beyond doubt that N25trn was rightly allocated in the budget, citing three parameters (money, project, and location) but cannot ascertain the project location for the other N3trn.

He said, “I am not afraid of suspension by the Senate. I stand by what I said: N3.7 trillion is 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.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency on Sunday stated that claims made by Senator Abdul Ningi, representing Bauchi Central, that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Federal Government is operating two versions of the 2024 budget is false.

In a statement titled ‘THE FACTS ABOUT 2024 BUDGET’ obtained by Bahd street vibes, Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, accused Senator Ningi of making wild claims.

He stated that the presidency considers it appropriate to inform Nigerians that there is no truth whatsoever in the allegation made by the lawmaker.

The statement reads in part: “To begin with, President Tinubu on November 29, 2023, presented a budget of N27.5 Trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly made up of N9.92 Trillion recurrent expenditure, Debt Service N8.25 Trillion, and Capital Expenditure N8.7 Trillion.

“This was widely reported. He did not present a budget of N25 Trillion.

“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.”

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